According to a research, a third of Americans go to emergency rooms when looking for medical care even if their needs don’t warranty the services of an emergency department. That has been the trend going decades back. Dr. Eric Forsthoefel has confirmed the fears about the state of emergency rooms in Florida.
Dr. Eric Forsthoefel is a renowned critical care physician with over 6 years of experience. The critical medicine specialist graduated with a medical degree from University of Louisville School of Medicine. In an interview, he shaded more light on the situation.
What is Dr. Eric Forsthoefel’s take on the problem?
He has witnessed a lot of such cases and he has attributed it to barriers to access to primary care. The doctors are obligated to attend to all the patients regardless of their condition. According to him, doctors work hard to meet the healthcare demands of people. However, he laments about the resources of emergency care rooms being limited and therefore, attending to non-urgent cases reduces their resources and capability to handle critical and acute situations.
Why do people opt for emergency rooms for non-urgent care?
A study showed that many educated and well-off people choose to go to emergency rooms for non-urgent care because they think it will take them too long to get an appointment with their care provider. Others prefer the rooms because of ER’s convenience or their incapability to secure the services of a primary care provider. Other studies reveals that the youth and men are likely to go to emergency rooms for a non-emergency issue.
All these studies corresponds with Dr. Forsthoefel’s assessment.
Actionable solutions to the problem
Addressing the issues that make people go to emergency rooms for non-emergency issues is a good start to finding a lasting solution. Critical medicine doctors such as Dr. Forsthoefel feel that if the primary care providers improve their service delivery, it will go a long way into easing the situation in the emergency rooms. They can do that by reducing waiting time and improving on their availability.
Carefully crafted research, studies and data have pointed to making of primary care and other options a convenient place to get medical care as an effective way of reducing significantly the cases of people visiting ERs for non-urgent care.