The American health care system really isn’t working for just about anyone. This is especially true when it comes to the emergency departments at hospitals across the nation. There are a lot of people who for different reasons choose to go into emergency departments for non-urgent care which really bogs down the system and costs everyone a great deal of money.
Studies show that around one out of three of people in the United States will make the choice to go to a hospital emergency room even when their symptoms are not really all that urgent. There was a study conducted in 2016 which was done by three very well-respected organizations which were the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Public Radio, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
These three organizations analyzed data going back to 1990. What they found were similar trends across all these years showing that over a third of all emergency department visits were actually not an actual emergency. The person who conducted this study looked over 63 full-length studies as well as close to 2,000 research abstracts.
Eric Forsthoefel, MD, is one of the emergency medical professionals that is dealing with this issue. He graduated from the Lousiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, in 2012. He proudly started doing work as an emergency physician after completing his residency at the LSU Health Sciences Center as an emergency medicine resident.
He says that working in emergency medicine is really a challenge. He loves to help people who are in an emergency state and considers doing so his life’s mission. However, he does find that people visiting his emergency room who don’t actually need to be there a pretty big challenge, as do most doctors in his position. He is hoping that a good solution can be found where people can receive great care from a physician while freeing up emergency rooms for people who are truly in a state of emergency requiring immediate and intensive medical care.