December 11, 2018 – Reducing ED Use


Anchor lead: Efforts to reduce ED crowding don’t seem to be helping, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Emergency departments are more crowded than ever, with some patients waiting many hours to be seen, a recent study concluded. Patricia Davidson, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, says for some, that’s the only way they know to obtain medical care.

Davidson: With the introduction of better access to care through the affordable care act they actually talked about having to talk to their workers about scheduling appointments, about planning ahead, as an international person coming to the US the healthcare system is pretty daunting as to how you access it, and for many how you pay for it. People know that if you turn up in an emergency department someone is going to take care of them.  :28

So far, things like urgent care centers don’t seem to be lightening the load, but Davidson notes that if more of them were positioned next to EDs, it might help. She says strategies like advising people of wait times may also prove beneficial. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.