It’s late-summer, and our family just returned from our August vacation trip. I try to make each camping trip more enjoyable than the last, yet can’t help but reflect on times when one of us has gotten sick on vacation. That always brings the fun to a standstill!
When I partnered with Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care to tour their new Avon, Connecticut center, one of my first questions was, “How can families that travel prevent injuries while enjoying the outdoors?”
Tips for Staying Healthy While Enjoying the Outdoors
A Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care doctor responded with several tips, plus I’ll tell you all about where to go if an injury or illness does happen!
Dr. Brooks recommends parents always pack medical supplies and medical insurance paperwork/cards.
- Minor scrape and burn treatment supplies: adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, aspirin (don’t forget children’s versions!), bacitracin cream (like Neosporin).
- Other travel health essentials: sunscreen, bug spray, lip balm (with SPF), water bottle.
Packing a good medical supply kit is important, but so is preventing injuries in the first place:
- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors, and use SPF30+. Reapply every two hours, or more often if swimming.
- Wear well-fitted life jackets when boating.
- Check everyone for ticks: armpits, legs, neck, hair, but really a full body check is a good idea.
- Stay hydrated. 60% of your body is water and we lose water from basic activities. Outside in the heat, you’re losing more water, so drink up!
Dr. Brooks says the most common reasons families end up at the doctor on vacation are: dehydration, allergies, and sports injuries, so prevention is key. But also know where to go when an illness or injury happens.
9 Ways Travel Health Care for Busy Families just Got Better!
Many families end up at the Emergency Department, because they may not know where else to go if they are traveling. If the situation is not life-threatening, an urgent care center like Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care can treat a wide range of acute issues, for much less out-of-pocket than an ER. Urgent care doctors have emergency medical training, and their facilities are equipped for a range of treatments, including medical testing and screening.
After getting a tour of the Avon Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care center from Manny Singh, GoHealth Urgent Care Senior Operations Manager, I was astounded by the approach GoHealth Urgent Care takes to health care. And saying, “Why isn’t everyone doing this!?”
Here are 9 reasons why Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care clinic just made travel health care better for busy families! This urgent care clinic actually makes me want to see a doctor!
- Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care offers comfort to patients from the start. Begin right from home with seamless online check-in. GoHealthUC.com is gorgeously designed with stunning photos of their major service areas. The nearest Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care centers are viewed at-a-glance, along with length of wait time in each spot. Patients self-select their location and save their spot in line before leaving home.
- Don’t have a ride? If Uber is available you can call a ride directly from the Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care website! How perfect for a traveling family who may not have a car handy (on vacation you may only have brought one car, or have gotten dropped off at an event).
- At any point after checking in online, should a delay arise (traffic, an unexpected stop), simply reply to your check-in text and adjust your arrival time. You never lose your spot in line!
- When you arrive at Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care, the warm and welcoming reception area with its open-concept design allows you to make eye contact with medical professionals immediately. That patient-doctor connection is so important, as they are trained to notice signs of trauma that might ordinarily slip by in the typical closed-wall medical center. (And, if you’re like me and forgot your phone charger, Dr. Finkelstein noticed that too, and came to my aid immediately by loaning me his!).
- Don’t settle in! Although the waiting area is comfortable and has a delightful tea station, free wi-fi, and a device charging station for your convenience, it’s very likely you won’t wait long. The day I took my tour at least three people checked in and were taken to their exam room in minutes. So grab a tea ASAP after checking in at the door kiosk. If you’ve already checked in online, they’ll be expecting you, and your status will change on the large check-in screen.
- Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care gives you your space! All the exam rooms and even the bathroom are about 15% larger than average, for your comfort. This is especially convenient for families with children in tow, or patients in wheelchairs! And the bathrooms are completely touchless, so they are impeccably clean and hygienic.
- There’s no walk of shame here. Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care has a mobile x-ray machine, so comes to you, not the other way around. Totally makes sense, doesn’t it? I mean, if you’ve fractured a bone, the last thing you want to do is limp down the hall in a paper gown to get an x-ray. Isn’t it a neat looking machine? Do you see the “puppy” face? I did immediately! This is a huge hit with kids! Plus, your images are read by the doctor and sent digitally to a radiologist to be verified in just minutes.
- Save time, paperwork, and hassle, because imaging and medical records are stored electronically while you’re being seen. Doctors are fully transparent – your records are projected on a large screen for you to see, meaning you can verify accuracy, and ask questions as the exam proceeds. Questions are encouraged, so you walk away knowing exactly what happened during your exam.
- Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care is a paperless system. They can make referral appointments while you’re there, and send imaging and records to a partner doctor. That saves you time and money because you won’t need a second set of images later.
Have you noticed a unifying factor in these nine amazing ways travel health care just got better? At every step, Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care communicates with patients: through online check-in and text-back, greeting with eye contact, and transparent record keeping. Each step was designed by answering one simple question: What does the patient need?
I am so excited to see medical care becoming so streamlined! Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care is upgrading medical care to the way people communicate and live in our digital age. This takes so many levels of frustration at seeing a doctor out of the equation.
I’m even more excited Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care just opened a second, Glastonbury office in Connecticut, and they plan to open over 15 new centers in the Hartford area within the next eighteen months!
If you find yourself needing medical care, at home or traveling, logon to GoHealthUC.com to find the nearest center. You don’t have to choose between waiting to see your PCP or an incredibly pricey ER visit. You are in control of where you go and how you’re cared for!
DISCLOSURE: Thanks to Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care for lovely tour! I was compensated for sharing this message, but all opinions and amazement at this new wave of medical care are my own!