In Case of a Medical Emergency

You sprained an ankle. Or suffered a cut that needs stitches. Or have a nasty rash.  In the past, these conditions might have sent you to the Emergency department (ED). Today, there is another option—urgent care.

Jonathan Hansen, MD, MBA, FACEP

“Emergency departments play a critical role in our healthcare system, but going to the ED may not be the best choice if you have an injury or illness that is not life-threatening. Urgent care centers provide quick and convenient access to health care for minor illnesses and injuries, right when it’s needed,” says Jonathan Hansen, MD, MBA, FACEP, chair of Emergency Medicine at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center.

MedStar Health offers urgent care through MedStar PromptCare, a network of centers located in the central Maryland and Washington, D.C., metro regions. The network provides walk-in, extended hour access to medical care for most illnesses and injuries, as well as physicals for sports, camp and pre-employment, concussion evaluations, flu shots, laboratory and X-ray services.

“No one ever plans on having a sudden illness or injury. Often, these happen after-hours when your doctor is not available. Choosing the right facility for the right care can be critical to one’s health. That is why when a medical emergency happens, it is important for you to know which type of facility will provide you with the best medical care,” Dr. Hansen notes.

“Remember that the missions of EDs and urgent care centers differ. Emergency care is meant for serious medical conditions where delaying care could cause permanent harm or even death. So the  ED focuses on seeing the most critical cases first. Urgent care is for more minor problems. If you go to the ED for a minor condition, you may have to wait some  time to be seen. Offering both provides greater access to care for everyone, where and when it’s needed,” adds Dr. Hansen. 

Emergency Department or Urgent Care?

Emergency Department

Urgent Care

  • Broken bones
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Extreme pain
  • High fever
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe burns
  • Uncontrolled breathing 
  • Bug and minor animal bites
  • Cold and flu symptoms
  • Concussions
  • Ear infections
  • Mild fevers
  • Minor allergic reactions
  • Minor broken bones
  • Minor burns
  • Minor head injuries
  • Pink eye
  • Rashes
  • Sprains and minor injuries
  • Urinary tract infections

Featured in Discover Summer 2017 Magazine.

Location Information

To contact MedStar Franklin Square, please call 443-777-7000

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
9000 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

Use entrance 5 for direct access.


Learn more about our Emergency Services.

Find The Closest MedStar PromptCare Urgent Care Center: