Care Settings

Inpatient. Outpatient. Ambulatory. Acute. Urgent. Emergent.

We use a lot of words you may not be familiar with to discuss where and how you receive care. Let us explain some of these and help you understand how we organize and deliver our care.

  • Inpatient - Typically this encompasses the hospital where a patient is admitted for an overnight stay (or longer). These patients are normally considered acute due to the level of care and observation needed.
  • Outpatient - Typically this includes the clinic where patients have doctor appointments or parts of the hospital where tests may occur. Increasingly, simple surgeries that do not require an overnight stay are considered outpatient.
  • Emergency Care (also called "emergent care") - hospitals maintain emergency departments for assessment and treatment of patients with severe, or life-and-death conditions.
  • Urgent Care - These departments specialize in the treatment of minor illnesses or injury. 

At Franciscan Healthcare, please keep in mind the following options when seeking care for yourself or a family member. 

La Crosse Emergency and Urgent Care Center
  • The Emergency and Urgent Care Center in La Crosse provides emergent and urgent services. The complexity of need and the time of your arrival determine if your service is considered emergent or urgent. Emergent care includes heart attack symptoms, abdominal pain, stroke or compound fractures (such as when the bone protrudes through the skin). The Emergency and Urgent Care Center is open 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Urgent services are offered through our Fast Track from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. if your condition meets the criteria.
Sparta Emergency Department
  • In the Sparta or Monroe County area, choose the Sparta Emergency Department for your care if you have immediate and significant worries about your health. Hospitals maintain emergency departments for the assessment and treatment of patients with severe or life-and-death conditions. 
Onalaska Urgent Care
  • The Urgent Care Department at the Onalaska Clinic specializes in the treatment of minor illness and injury. Urgent Care providers commonly diagnose and treat colds and coughs, ear infections, minor burns and cuts, rashes and other non-life-threatening conditions. Urgent Care services are available in Onalaska from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and most holidays.
  • Think of Urgent Care as the middle-ground between your primary care provider and the Emergency Department. But don’t use Urgent Care simply for its convenience – make sure your need is truly urgent in nature. Many of the conditions treated in Urgent Care can also be treated by your primary care provider with a same day appointment. 
Same Day Appointments
  • All of our primary care providers leave open appointment slots in their daily schedule to accommodate patients with urgent needs. If you call in the morning, you can be seen by your regular provider or one of their colleagues. 

Matt EUCC“It is our goal to provide each patient with the right care, at the right place, at the right time. That is why we offer care in a variety of settings.”
Matt, R.N., Emergency and Urgent Care Center