Month: January 2022

Your best options for care, 24/7

With our hospitals operating at full capacity, and a health care worker shortage, we can all do our part to ease the burden on the emergency department.

Is it an emergency?

See the bottom of this chart for the symptoms that require an immediate trip to the Emergency Department (ED). Otherwise, do these first:

Not urgent Send your doctor a message in MyChart. You should hear back in 24-72 hours.
Urgent, during open hours Call your clinic and ask to speak to the nurse.

They can review your symptoms and recommend a home care plan for you.  They can also reach out to your PCP if your symptoms are more concerning.

You might also try the Nurse Triage Line on the back of some insurance cards

Urgent, after hours Call our main line, 1.888.472.2633.

  • Our on-call provider can help you figure out the next steps.
  •  They can review your symptoms and recommend a home care plan, urgent care clinic or ED.
More urgent, after hours On evenings, holidays or Sundays—or if our on-call provider recommends:

Urgent, Saturdays We have Saturday Clinic in Canyon Park and Federal Way for urgent needs.

If it’s not an emergency (see the list below), call us for a Saturday visit: 1.888.472.2633

Emergency Department Go directly to the closest ED if you are experiencing:

  • Chest pain
  • Paralysis
  • Speech changes
  • Vision loss
  • Seizure
  • Severe trauma
  • Poisoning
  • Severe allergic reaction with shortness of breath

— if or you are unsure of the seriousness of your condition.

Our health care system works best when you seek the right care for your symptoms. It can also save you money, too.

Primary care physicians (PCPs) are the physicians that you should see regularly and include pediatricians, internal medicine, and family medicine physicians, ARNPs, and PAs.  PCPs can diagnose and treat most common medical conditions whether acute or chronic. They learn the most about you, your preferences, and your needs. If you require a specialist, they will get you to the right one. PacMed PCP and specialists work closely together to provide you with the right care at the right time. You can reach out to your PCP through MyChart any time of day or night and expect to hear back in 24-72 hours. (Don’t have a MyChart account?)

At PacMed, if you have more urgent concerns during our open hours, you can call us. Each clinic has a team of nurses and/or medical assistants who help with triaging patient needs. If needed, we can make time to see you that day either in person or a video visit. Find your clinic phone number.

If you’re in need of after-hours medical care, we encourage our patients to call first for support. We always have a physician on call after hours, who can access your medical records, and advise you on next steps. To reach our doctor on call, call us at 1.888.472.2633 (1.888.4.PACMED).

We also have a Saturday Clinic at our Canyon Park and Federal Way clinics.  These clinics are dedicated to acute care visits.

Even when traveling, you can use MyChart, call your PCP’s office during the day or call us after hours to determine if you need to visit an urgent care. They may be able to handle your issue over the phone—or let you know if you can wait until you are back from your travels.

You must go to an emergency room for life-saving care that needs immediate attention. Visit an emergency room if you are experiencing chest pain, paralysis, speech changes. vision loss, seizure, severe trauma, poisoning, and severe allergic reaction. For most cases, patients should consult their PCP.

When in doubt, seek the highest level of care possible. If you are unsure of the seriousness of your condition, do not delay, go to the ED.

If you know it is not an emergency and you have time to schedule an appointment, call your PCP and get seen at your home clinic.

Thank you for helping us meet your needs, and the needs of all patients, by simply seeking the right care.



* Providence may accept different insurance options than PacMed. Check they accept your insurance plan before using this option, to avoid surprise charges.

** Express Cares and Urgent Cares will also have their own insurance options and billing policies. Check with them in advance to avoid surprise charges.

Building strong communities through blood donation

January is about new beginnings and fresh starts. It’s also National Blood Donor Month – a time to consider the important role blood donation plays in the health of our community.

Blood donation is critical for people involved in traumatic accidents, during medical operations and procedures, and also for people with cancer, anemia, and autoimmune disorders, among others.

The Red Cross reports that every two seconds, someone in our country needs blood or blood products.

Hospitals and health systems, like PacMed, Swedish and Providence, rely on local blood banks to maintain blood product supplies. However, COVID-19 has impacted donation volumes. Lifesaving blood donations remain essential for patients in need.

Help keep your community strong by donating blood locally. Find a donation center near you at

FAQs regarding blood donation and COVID-19:

Q: Is it safe to donate blood if you’ve had COVID-19?
A: Yes. If you’ve had COVID-19, you must be without symptoms for 14 days prior to blood donation. If you are asymptomatic, you must wait 14 days from the date of your positive test result.

Q: Will donating blood reduce COVID-19 fighting-antibodies?
A: No. If you’ve had the COVID-19 vaccine, your antibody levels won’t go down after you give blood, as your body will quickly replenish the antibodies.

Q: Will donating blood increase my exposure to COVID-19?
A: No. Donation centers take all necessary precautions to protect their donors and their staff members.

Q: Does my COVID-19 vaccination status impact my ability to donate blood?
A: Check with your local blood donation office to verify their COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

Don’t have time to workout? Try HIIT Workouts.

WorkoutFinding enough time to workout is a challenge for many people. Getting up early or squeezing exercise in after work is a difficult habit to build. Finding a workout that fits your schedule and you enjoy and that delivers maximum benefits? That’s the goal for many people.

One of the top trends in the fitness world today is high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. These workout programs feature short intervals of high intensity followed by longer rest periods. This approach gives maximum physical benefits in a short amount of time.

If you’re pressed for time and seeking a quick workout that still generates benefits and gets you sweating, HIIT can be a great option.

What is HIIT?
High-intensity interval training is a method of exercise that alternates quick, high-intensity intervals with longer, slower intervals for recovery. The goal is to perform short bursts of all-out work (typically about 30 seconds) that pushes your body near its limit. This is followed by periods of less intense activity to recover, typically about 1 minute. Together, these intervals have been shown to make the body work harder than performing a cardio exercise at a constant level for an equal amount of time.

Why do a HIIT workout?

  • A HIIT workout increases overall physical fitness. Pushing yourself during the intense part of the interval increases endurance and stamina. You may notice a difference during other workouts and daily life.
  • Even after a HIIT training, your body continues to burn calories. A HIIT training’s intensity means your body has to work harder to get back into balance after exerting itself. So even when you’re resting after your workout, your body continues to burn calories.
  • The workout is short—a great benefit if your schedule is packed. A quick HIIT workout of 10 minutes has many benefits. If you have more time, shoot for a 15-20 HIIT session.

How do I start?
Ease into HIIT. If you’re not accustomed to high-intensity exercise, a HIIT workout can be a shock to your body.

A HIIT-style workout can include almost any aerobic exercise—running, cycling, Pilates. Any aerobic activity you enjoy can be turned into a HIIT training session. In general, perform your chosen activity all-out for about 30 seconds and then recover for 1 minute. (For example, sprint for 30 seconds and then walk for 1 minute.) This can be repeated for 15-20 minutes, depending on your fitness level. And don’t forget to warm up for at least 5 minutes before a HIIT session.

HIIT workouts are intense, so it should be just one type of workout you do. Incorporate it maybe once or twice a week to start and allow recovery between sessions.