- Emergency medicine (145)
- Health and Wellness (603)
- Healthcare Compliance (3)
- Healthcare Public Relations (1)
- Hospitalist medicine (76)
- Injury & Illness (65)
- Medical Spas (5)
- Occupational Medicine (22)
- Patient Safety (61)
- Patient Satisfaction (36)
- Patient-Centered Medical Homes (199)
- Physician Recruitment (56)
- Preventative Care (74)
- Rules & Regulations (2)
- Urgent Care Services (44)
- Work Related Injury (3)
- Workers Compensation (3)
- Workplace Safety (22)
Physician goes to bat for emergency departments
10.12.2012Contradicting stereotypes and stigmas of frequent long waits for care and overcrowding by patients with non-urgent conditions attached to emergency medicine, an emergency physician who spoke to the Washington Post said whatever bad reputation has befallen emergency departments has been largely unfounded.
Robert O'Connor, from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, pointed to a figure from the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey, which states that only 2 percent of the total healthcare expenses for the entire nation can be attributed to treatments administered at ERs.
"We were hearing a lot of dialogue during the health reform debate about these expensive emergency rooms and how we have to get patients out of there. We decided to go look at the numbers, so we got the federal data and were surprised it was as low as it was." O'Connor said to the news source. "There’s a conventional myth its 40 percent or 50 percent. It’s not that big in the grand scheme of things."
The Washington Post continues to state that some research indicates that many trips to the ER are for issues that aren't necessarily dire enough to warrant the attention of emergency department physicians. Facilities that provide the walk-in service of emergency rooms, but are tailored specifically to treat patients who aren't facing a life and death emergency include immediate care centers and urgent care services.
Stereotypes of ER patients discredited
In contrast to information cited by the Washington Post, new studies conducted in Virginia, Wisconsin and Massachusetts indicate that there aren't as many habitual visitors "abusing" the ER policy of treating all-comers, and most ER patients do require emergency medicine. These examinations were unveiled to the public at a meeting of the the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Andy Sama, the organization's president, said that most frequent attendees at ERs are direly ill, and often have debilitating mental disorders that prevent them from scheduling outpatient treatment at a physician's office.
"When appropriate, emergency physicians work to obtain better outpatient access to resources in their community for these patients," he said. "But very often we provide the care they can't get anywhere else."
Research on the Virginia hospital showed that people who went to the ER more than nine times within six months only accounted for 2 percent of their total patients. In addition, that 2 percent were far more likely than most patients to have psychological problems.
Categories: Emergency medicine
A recent study by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics shows that, in 2012, total spending … more
A new system in Toronto provides an example of emergency department solutions.