Many health-related conditions causing a trip to the emergency room or healthcare provider (see lists below) can be "easily and effectively" treated using medical self-care techniques that can save employers healthcare dollars, says the Wellness Councils of America. These tools include health fairs, health screenings, hotlines, incentives, employee and family education, and providing Web site addresses of medical resources.

Twenty of the most common reasons for visiting the emergency room:

1. Abdominal pain, cramps and spasms

2. Chest pain and related symptoms

3. Fever

4. Headache, pain in head

5. Shortness of breath

6. Back symptoms

7. Cough

8. Pain

9. Lacerations and cuts

10. Throat symptoms

11. Vomiting

12. Accident

13. Difficulty breathing

14. Earache, ear infection

15. Skin rash

16. Motor vehicle accident

17. Low back symptoms

18. Head, neck, face injury

19. Cuts to face

20. Neck symptoms

Source: National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2002 Summary

Twenty of the most common reasons people seek healthcare:

1. General medical examinations

2. Progress visits

3. Cough

4. Postoperative visits

5. Routine prenatal exams

6. Symptoms associated with throat

7. Hypertension

8. Knee symptoms

9. Well-baby examinations

10. Medications

11. Stomach pain, cramps and spasms

12. Earache, ear infection

13. Back symptoms

14. Vision dysfunctions

15. Blood pressure test

16. Fever

17. Nasal congestion

18. Skin rash

19. Chest pain

20. Diabetes

Source: National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2000