Archive | May, 2012

Emergency Room systems

28 May

So I’ve been sitting in the ER with my youngest son for about 1 1/2 hrs. And many of you are probably thinking “only 1.5 hrs?”

Weeeelllll….I understand the E.R. is usually the only place to go for medical attention after duty hours, on weekends,  or holidays.  And (don’t quote me here because this is not a scientific statistic) I’m pretty sure that a grand majority of ER patients don’t have a real emergency.  But there seriously must be a better system than ER waiting for hours and hours — SERIOUSLY!?!?!

I have wondered if this is a way to deter non-emergent patients from coming to the ER because charging hundreds of $$$ for walking in the doors surely hasn’t slowed the masses. 

I proper a better way…..and YES I am quite aware of the fact that decades of congressmen, healthcare professionals, and hospital administrators haven’t got it right yet.  Nonetheless see my comparisons below :

Currently – walk in and see a receptionist who takes your name, insurance info. You fit for up to 10 minutes. A nurse calls you for triage. Here’s where they take your temperature,  weight, symptoms and place you in a priority category.  Less than a minute of symptoms questions and you are now locked into a category that could mean the difference of LITERALLY hours!  I mean seriously 1-2 minutes and you’re locked in to a priority??? Whose bright idea was this???   If you are lucky they’ll politely tell you to take a seat and “We’ll be with you in a few minutes.”  And set the timer, ladies and gentlemen because unless you are a young child with a high fever or you have trouble breathing, have arterial bleeding or a heart attack or a stroke….do you get the picture?? A REAL emergency….unless that is your case, then your long wait has just begun.

My proposal is this: All emergency rooms should have a Quick Care Clinic aka Urgent Care Clinic. Secondly instead of being assessed by the same nurse that triaged you, an RNP or Physician Assistant should do a more thorough assessment immediately following vitals check.

This assessment should determine if in fact you belong in the ER. If the answer is YES then congratulations because you’ve made a smart move. However if you don’t have a real emergency and your condition can be “treated and released” but you cannot wait for the next business day fir treatment,  then send you off to the Quick Care/Urgent Care for that. If however,  your condition can wait for the next business day, then an appointment should be made for you in their clinic. 

Now I am no MD but this just makes so much better sense to me. I suspect that the Quick Care/Urgent Care staff would be much larger, and rightfully so…leaving Emergency Rooms for emergencies!

What a concept! 🙂