Emergency Services: Primary Care Adult
Some have blamed the sluggish recovery of the economy and others have blamed the influx of immigrants. Others blame the increasing number of people who live below the poverty line. Whatever the cause, the result is that many people now use the emergency room as their place of primary care. We at Frontline ER would like to discuss this issue in detail.
The ER Has Become Popular
For years, those without insurance have flooded emergency rooms such as Frontline ER seeking medical relief for chronic disease, earaches, and other issues. Most feel they have no choice. A study in 2012 found that 80 percent of patients went to the ER since they felt they had no other choice.
One reason for this is that there are not enough primary care physicians in some places in the US. However, this visit of non-emergency patients to the Emergency room such as Frontline ER could overwhelm the emergency rooms. This could mean some patients with true emergencies are left languishing in the waiting area.
Another problem is cost; an ER visit can lead to high costs for non-emergency visits. Even if the insurer does pay, the copay might still be quite high. This has led to some of the ERs devising strategies to reduce non-emergency patients. This way, they can help the patients that truly need their services on time.
At some emergency rooms attached to hospitals, you will find charitable services where the uninsured can get access to healthcare options. This way, they do not need to visit an ER such as Frontline ER.
Some other medical facilities have started collecting copays, upfront fees, or deductibles before they treat the patient. These costs can be as high as $180 per patient. This has led to worries that non-emergency conditions might worsen or leave without being treated. A report showed that in 2011 there were 6million ER visits. In some cases, tens of thousands of patients were left with no care.
Safety net options besides the ER do exist. Health centers that are funded by the HHS offer primary healthcare services. They offer diagnostic, preventive, treatment, and emergency services. They also provide a referral for special care. They do so whether a patient can pay or not. Most of them are open on weekends and evenings.
These clinics even offer walk-in appointments, which help to make a realistic alternative to the ER. A report in 2011 showed that there over 7,900 health centers, which serve about 19 million people. It is estimated that the number served by these centers will continue to grow.
Some of the Ways to Improve the ER
There are various proposals on how to make throughput at the ER better. Some of them are:
One proposal is to post ED wait times on the ER’s website. Patients can access this information so that they can determine which ER will work best for them.
Eliminating rooms for non-urgent patients is another solution. This will ensure that if it is not an emergency. The patients are treated and discharged as they arrive. This could make working ERs such Frontline ER even more efficient.
The manner in which triage is performed might also need to be changed. The triage should involve a doctor, nurse, technician, and registrar. This could help to cut down the patient wait time by as much as 64 percent. As it stands, the job of triage is left to the nurse alone.
There should also be testing labs with all equipment at the ER. This can help to speed up diagnosis and help reduce wait times. At Frontline ER, the testing facilities meet all requirements for a lab.
Another option is to create a discharge lounge that will help to free up beds in the ER. It will also allow patients to move to a private area where they can get clinical care and discharge instructions.
These tactics alone will not reduce the number of patients that use the ER as their primary care facility. The patients will need to change their thinking. For one, they should realize that the ER is not the only option that they have.
For instance, if you have a lifelong medical condition, you should learn when it is an emergency and when it is not. Besides that, ER doctors will need to change their mindset. They should take the time to explain why it might not be an emergency at all to patients.
If a patient visits the ER, they also need to educate themselves on how to cut costs. There are many tips online that you can use to do this. For instance, they should ask for an itemized bill or they can call the insurer and protest the copay. In most cases, the insurer will comply. Most ERs will also offer a payment plan. This way, you do not have to be destroyed by debt just because you were sick.