Thursday, 11 August 2011

Hospitals Work Towards Speeding up ER Care

According to federal data, an average of 2.7% of patients who visit hospital emergency rooms leave without getting treatment. Interminable delays at the average hospital emergency room, means wait times that can sometimes last for hours.

About 50% of people who leave an emergency room without being seen go to another hospital, or get better on their own. However, the remaining 50% are sick enough when they visit a hospital emergency room to require hospitalization. It is these people that Arizona medical malpractice attorneys are concerned about because too many of them are slipping through ER cracks.

According to analysis by researchers at Johns Hopkins, the number of people leaving emergency rooms without treatment has risen from 1.7% between 1998 and 2006, to 2.7% between 2007 and 2008. That's not hard to understand when you realize that the number of ERs in the country has dropped by nearly 1/3rd over the past two decades, while the number of patients seeking emergency care has increased by approximately 40% over the same period of time.

The failure to provide essential emergency care for patients who may be seriously ill is something that hospitals struggle with. Now, many of them have decided to take matters into their own hands, and streamline their procedures to make sure that more patients receive emergency care.

Some hospitals are reserving their beds and their doctors for only the sickest emergency room patients. Only those patients who very extremely sick get treated by doctors, while those who are not so ill, may have a physician’s assistant or a nurse practitioner focus on paperwork, ordering tests and other actions.

Patients who are not seriously ill may not be given a bed, but may be offered a recliner, and may be sent back to the waiting area to wait for their test results. This frees up beds for patients who are seriously ill, while ensuring that everyone is seen by medical professionals. Hospitals are also experimenting with other methods, including posting their average ER wait times on their websites, waiting rooms and even highway billboards.

1 comment:

  1. This looks great, I sooo need to try this soon! Thanks!
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