When seeking care, it’s important to know where and when to see a doctor. But how do you know where to go when you need care? Luckily, knowing where to go is as easy as ordering your favorite cup of coffee.

News, Your Health | 2 years ago

Knowing Where to Go for Healthcare Is as Simple as Ordering Coffee

When seeking care, it's important to know where and when to see a doctor. But how do you know where to go when you need care? 

There are many things that Americans didn’t have to think about 65 years ago, such as “Is this food organic?” “Can I microwave plastic?” (Microwaves were not even introduced until the 1960s!) and “Do I choose between CrossFit or YMCA workouts?” But now, we are in a sea of Non-GMO products, there are millions of exercise programs and gyms, and paying attention to toxins (and our health) are commonplace.

With all of this overstimulation of information, there is a silver lining. We have an opportunity to create positive changes in our health and the health of our loved ones. And, when we do get sick, we have options. Luckily, making a choice is as easy as ordering coffee with your app.

When seeking care, it’s important to know where and when to see a doctor. Nearly 30 percent of healthcare visits take place in the Emergency Department when they could occur in a different setting. According to research, more than $4 billion annually could be saved if patients would bypass the ED in favor of a visit to a primary provider or urgent care for "non-urgent" medical needs.

It's As Easy as Ordering Coffee from Your App

If you need to see a doctor, it's important to know where to go. At Atrium Health, "we have an app for that." So, seeing a doctor is as easy as ordering a coffee from your favorite app.

Now, to break down the pathway to healthcare in a way that makes sense – think about getting your healthcare the same way you order your coffee: Tall, Grande, Venti


Your tall coffee order is right for you most days. Think about this as your Monday-Friday order. You usually have a good night sleep and are feeling good in the morning. Your tall coffee just keeps you regular.

Your tall coffee order is similar to a primary care visit. For your everyday needs, chronic conditions and minor illnesses, you need to see a primary care physician. This allows you to prevent and treat illnesses with a doctor who knows your health history. In this instance, your tall coffee is the right amount. This order keeps you from getting the jitters, but it's necessary to avoid a headache down the road. (Feeling invincible at your age? You should still see a doctor once a year to create a baseline and check-in.)

Atrium Health even offers Virtual Visit and eVisit which means you can see a doctor from the convenience of your phone or computer. This option is so convenient for minor illnesses after hours or when you don’t have the time to leave your home or office.


Maybe you were working late last night. Maybe you were planning to meet up with friends for an hour after work and it turned into three. Maybe you were up with a toddler at 2 a.m. Either way, in this instance your coffee order is going to need to deliver a bit more octane than your usual tall. And, you need your coffee straight away. This morning, your coffee can't wait.

This scenario is the same as visiting an Urgent Care. An Urgent Care visit is for any illness or injury that isn't life-threatening, but you feel needs immediate attention. This option is best for a sudden illness or injury that is non-life-threatening when you need care and your doctor’s office is closed. You probably need more attention than a wellness visit (your "tall" order), but less than an Emergency Department visit. You also want to see a provider face-to-face.


You get out of bed and realize that not getting your coffee is dangerous. This is like Emergency Care. For a very serious illness or injury that requires immediate attention and resources and puts your life in danger, you need to visit the Emergency Department. Regarding your coffee, in these instances, a tall or grande isn't going to deliver.

Important note: Call 911 for medical emergencies or to be brought to the Emergency Room by ambulance.

Ordering Your Healthcare

The examples we have provided are merely fictitious scenarios comparing the scope of healthcare you may need to the size of your coffee order. As a society of "now," we would like to provide you with a menu of options for your healthcare needs – think of it as the "order" and "pick up" functions on your coffee company app.

The easiest way to get the best care that is most convenient for you is to know when, where, and how to use the healthcare resources available to you. In an era of information at your fingertips, take action and engage healthcare appropriately.

Still unsure which care you need, visit Atrium Health for a handy guide to all the care options available.