The Hour of Waiting for Emergency Room Services

There is a growing crisis in medical services. The emergency rooms cannot meet the growing demand for services:

“ATLANTA — The average time that hospital emergency rooms patients wait to see a doctor has grown from about 38 minutes to almost an hour over the past decade, according to new federal statistics released Wednesday.”

link: Average ER waiting time nears 1 hour, CDC says

There are many factors that contribute to the stress of emergency room facilities. One significant contributing factor is that people do not go to their physician with preventative medicine in mind. Many simply cannot afford the service.

However, when there is not a focus on preventative medicine and catching problems in the early stages, the time that these physical problems receive attention is when the situation has become dire. Therefore, the emergency room services are needed. The problem(s) have not been addressed early in the process and it may have developed into a crisis situation.

And a final thought… the continuing experience of medical services to military personnel has shown that critical importance of “the golden hour”. Time is critical in addressing battlefield trauma. The same perspective holds for emergency room service. Time is essential. The question is prioritizing patients. If the wait is an hour, then the hope is that triage services do not make an error.

Catherine Forsythe