ACEP Chief Rails Against ED Diversions, Scheduling
It's a fact that hospitals and policy makers should not ignore.
This alarming statistic about ED overcrowding – and others equally grim – came from a large population study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The research paper gives Sandra Schneider, MD, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians and an ED doc at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y. a chance to make some additional points about how the system must change to save lives.
For starters, hospital executives and consumer groups need to realize that it's not just heart attack patients who are more likely to die when EDs are on diversion, she says. It's patients with any critical illness – pneumonia, stroke, injuries or wounds from violence, "or any other condition where it's important to get treatment early." The circumstance of diversion has implications for patients who were already admitted to the hospital that sends ambulances elsewhere, because chances are staff is already too strapped to provide them with optimal care, she says.
WEBCAST: Transform Your ED into a Profit Center June 23, 1:00 – 2:30 ET Register today
Additional studies should document the casualties of those other medical conditions as well, she suggested.
When I asked her to comment on the JAMA study this week, Schneider seemed to not want to get off the phone. "I'm passionate about this because I'm the one who has to watch patients die," she says. "There's absolutely no question in my mind, and the mind of every emergency physician out there, that holding inpatients in the emergency room and backing things up … leads to ambulance diversion. It's just bad. It causes death; it causes delays in care; it causes increased discomfort."
- CMS Sets 2014 Pay Rates for Hospital Outpatient and Physician Services
- FDA hopes hospitals will switch to newly regulated pharmacies
- Not-for-Profit Hospitals Find Opportunity Amid Uncertainty
- The 5 Biggest Healthcare Finance Trouble Spots
- The Most Polarizing Topics in Healthcare IT
- Why You Should Involve Patients in Nursing Handoffs
- How CPOE Will Make Healthcare Smarter
- New G-Code to Pay Doctors for Broad Array of Non-Face-to-Face Care
- States Rejecting Medicaid Expansion Forgo Billions in Federal Funds
- Nonprofit Hospital Outlook 'Negative' in 2014