Mamas, we know how tough it can be to get yourself or a sick kid to a doctor’s appointment, and it’s especially tricky when you need to do it during one of the busiest months of the year. Thankfully, accessibility to doctors and nurses is getting better all the time, thanks in part to the increased use of technology in doctors’ offices.
If you, your husband or one of the kids need to see a doctor pronto, here’s a run-down of some of the different ways you can get a Mercy doctor’s attention in a hurry.
Option 1: Call the clinic directly. (We all know there are some days of the week and times of the day when phone lines will be busier than usual, so avoid those times if possible.
Option 2: Call the “Doctor Finder” phone line at 1-888-338-3885. When you call the number, you get access to ALL available doctor schedules. (This method eliminates the need to call several different clinics to see which one can get you an appointment the quickest.)
Option 3: Use the Mercy website to send a message to a scheduler who will then contact you. The perks of this method are that you can do it anytime — including the middle of the night, weekends and holidays, too.
Option 4: Be a walk-in at the Convenient Care clinic. It’s located on Highway 102 (or 14th Street) in Bentonville. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day of the week. To avoid longer wait times, try to get there before 9 a.m. if possible.
Option 5: Do an E-Visit. This option is available for adults and kids, but it’s only for “non-urgent” medical conditions. The good news is you can do it anywhere you have Internet access.
When you do an E-visit, you just answer a series of online questions about your symptoms and then the doctor recommends a treatment plan. (It costs about the same as a typical office visit co-pay.)
Here’s a list of the kinds of non-urgent conditions that might be addressed with an E-visit.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not what you or your child has is something that requires a doctor’s visit, here’s a good way to figure it out. Call the Nurse On Call number (1-855-530-5300). You’ll be able to talk to a trained, experienced nurse who can help you decide whether or not to go in for a visit or wait a little longer for the problem to resolve on its own.
But… be aware that doctors say that if you or your child has body aches with a fever that’s 101.5, it’s best to see a doctor asap. (If you have an emergency that absolutely can’t and shouldn’t wait, be aware that the new ER department at Mercy’s Bella Vista facility tends to have much shorter waiting times than other ER units. The Bella Vista facility is just a minute off the bypass in Bella Vista so it’s easy to find.)
Here’s hoping that everyone in your family stays healthy this month so that you won’t need any of these options. But if you do, it’s good to know what’s available and the quickest way to get help and get back on your feet.