Today, one of healthcare’s biggest problem is the overuse of departments for emergencies for non-urgent care. Approximately 33.3% of United States citizens go to the emergency room whenever they need medical care. They also do this when their medical need is not an emergency. This is according to a survey that was conducted by the RWJF (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), the Harvard T.H. Chan Public Health, School, and NPR (National Public Radio).
Florida is in accordance with the national average of visits that are not urgent to emergency rooms. Orlando-based news reporter Abe Aboray ran a story that was on non-urgent care emergency rooms in Florida with an affiliate of National Public Radio ((WMFE). Aboraya interviewed Robert Blendon, a professor from Harvard. The professor reported that in the last two years, 33.3% of all Florida residents had been to an emergency room for health care needs that aren’t urgent. The story ran nationwide on the National Public Radio’s All Things Considered show, the audio is in their archives.
An emergency physician who works at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital called Dr. Eric Forsthoefel has witnessed numerous non-urgent cases at North Florida-based Bixler Trauma and Emergency Center. Dr. Forsthoefel explained that due to a constant lack of primary care medicine access, most patients go to the emergency department to get help. It’s obvious that no matter how urgent the problem, they still make it their duty to provide all the patients with paramount care.
All the patients that come to the emergency departments are always attended by physicians, techs, nurses, other support staff, plus they need a bed. But, the increasing number of non-urgent patient visits are stretching their resource, making it a challenge to manage medical crises that are critically emergent and need immediate attention plus constant monitoring. It normally makes it challenging for the whole staff.
About Dr. Eric Forsthoefel
He’s a critical care expert in Tallahassee, Florida, and he’s TMH. Dr. Forsthoefel attended a medical school based in Louisville, Kentucky called the UofL School of Medicine where he earned his medical degree. He has been practicing for almost a decade. Dr. Forsthoefel is among the 26 doctors specializing in Critical Care Medicine at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare.