Emergency rooms are the front line when it comes to treating patients with health issues. More people go to emergency rooms for treatment than they did in the past for several reasons. The primary reason is emergency rooms treat anyone who comes through the doors. And more than 30 percent of the people who come through the doors are non-urgent patients. That means they don’t stay in the hospital once the ER assesses and treats their health issues. According to some ER doctors, only 50 percent of the people they treat end up staying in the hospital for further treatment. That scenario creates serious overcrowding in hospitals all over the country.
Nine in ten doctors say they shorten or changed medical histories when there is another person close enough to hear what’s going on in an examination room. And more than half of the ER physicians alter how they do examinations when emergency room overcrowding fills all the treatment rooms and the hallways. In fact, patients treated in hallways may only get an abbreviated medical history exam, according to 75 percent of emergency room doctors who took part in a recent survey.
The study also showed ER Doctors change how they examine female patients in overcrowded emergency rooms. Plus, overcrowding hinders some doctors from uncovering social issues like domestic violence, elder abuse, substance abuse, and suicidal thinking, according to Emergency room physician Dr. Eric Forsthoefel. Dr. Forsthoefel is a Tallahassee Florida ER doctor who works in an overcrowded emergency room. He sees the problem that exists when non-urgent care patients flood emergency rooms because they can’t get an appointment with their primary care provider.
Dr. Forsthoefel graduated from Florida State University with a degree in religion. He decided to go to medical school in Louisiana, and he graduated with an American Board of Emergency Medicine certification in Emergency Medicine. Eric did his residency at Louisiana State University. He completed that residency in 2012. For the last six years, Forsthoefel treated cuts, bruises, and flu symptoms in the same treatment rooms where he treats patients with life-threatening injuries and diseases. Dr. Forsthoefel believes non-urgent treatments have an impact on the mental state of doctors, nurses, and hospital staff.
Time and resources intended for acute emergency room situations are being diverted to non-urgent patients and that makes emergency rooms less efficient and less effective, according to Dr. Forsthoefel. Forsthoefel also said it’s hard to maintain proper patient flow. And that means proper care can fall through the cracks in that disrupted patient flow. Other emergency doctors in Florida and in other states say the same thing. Non-urgent patient care impacts emergency room care.
Non-urgent care in emergency rooms causes overcrowding and overcrowding creates tension, misdiagnosis of other health conditions, and abbreviated medical treatments, according to emergency room physicians. And the overcrowding situation in ER’s will get worst due to a lack of primary care physicians and the lack of a solution to the problem, according to most ER doctors.
Take care of your mind as well as your body. If you find that you are struggling emotionally or you are unable to cope, reach out to others for help. Seeking help is a sign of strength. #TuesdayThoughts pic.twitter.com/AZUfedSU5V
— Mental Health America (@MentalHealthAm) September 4, 2018