By Chuck Gillespie, executive director, Wellness Council of Indiana

Using an emergency room (ER) for non-emergent situations is one of the most wasteful spends in your health care costs. A company in Muncie with 300 employees saved over $45,000 by simply promoting how to use urgent care centers, retail clinics and its own on-site clinic for basic and urgent care. The organization’s entire budget for wellness was $30,000.

Here are some basic tips from our partners at Anthem to share with employees about when to use the ER and when to consider an alternative health care facility.

Always call 911 or go to the ER if you think you’re having a real emergency or if you think you could put your health at serious risk by delaying care.

Do not underestimate the power of making simple suggestions about how your employees are using the health care system. It will save them time and money – and save you precious budget dollars.