While all the staff in an ER department are working tirelessly to provide the best health care for patients, they are often faced with bureaucratic difficulties that make their already hectic jobs much harder. A study recently found that around 25% of patients requesting ER care “are not being seen in a safe amount of time due to America’s increasingly crowded hospital emergency rooms. Delays could have a ripple effect, resulting in higher rates of morbidity and mortality in hospitals.”
Unfortunately, this situation is getting worse, according to a study in Archives of Internal Medicine. “Researchers found that the number of patients being seen in a timely manner is decreasing by about 0.8 percent every year.” In addition, “crowding in the ED (emergency department) has been associated with poorer process measures, including delays in treatment of pain, delays in antibiotic treatment for community-acquired pneumonia and decreases in the satisfaction of patients with their ED stay and hospitalization,” Hsia and Tabas said in the accompanying editorial. “There is also increasing evidence to suggest that crowding is associated with poorer clinical outcomes, such as increased in-hospital morbidity and mortality.”
There is only so much a doctor on staff at ER department can do; the rest has to come from increased financing so these problems will be solved.