Find Urgent Care and Health Centers
Many types of illnesses and injuries do not require an emergency department visit. Going to an emergency department for an illness or injury that could be treated by your primary care provider or at an urgent/express clinic will likely result in both extended wait times and a higher cost to the patient. There are quicker and less expensive treatment options.
Visit the emergency department if you are experiencing: difficulty breathing-shortness of breath, pain/pressure in chest, flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with a fever or worse cough.
Call your primary care provider or visit an urgent care/express clinic for: back pain, sprains, minor cuts, colds, sore throat, low-grade fever (99 degrees F-100.8 degrees F), most cases of norovirus.
If someone is not sure if they need to go to the emergency department, they should contact their primary care provider. A primary care provider will be able to provide guidance about the next best step. (Most offices have physicians on-call after hours.)
Non-Emergent Treatment Options
- Make an appointment or call your primary care doctor’s office for advice on where to seek care.
- Make an appointment at one of Rhode Island’s Community Health Centers, which provide medical, dental, and behavioral health services to established patients.
- Visit a Community Health Center Express Clinic. You don't have to be an established patient and all patients are served, regardless of insurance or ability to pay. These include:
- Go to a CVS Minute Clinic;
- Go to an urgent care center in Rhode Island. It's a good idea to call ahead to verify hours and location.
RIDOH has made every effort to establish a comprehensive, user-friendly list to assist Rhode Islanders to identify appropriate alternatives to Emergency Departments for non-emergent medical issues. If you are a Community Health Center, Urgent Care, or Walk-in Care facility and believe your facility should be included in this list, please contact DOH.email@example.com.