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All posts tagged hospital

Clinic serving Aransas Pass area 24-7 – kiiitv.com

As you might imagine, Hurricane Harvey knocked out medical services in the hardest hit areas, and damage at the hospital in Aransas Pass left residents with no emergency room within 30 miles.

Rudy Trevino, KIII 8:04 PM. CDT September 04, 2017

ARANSAS PASS (KIII NEWS) – As you might imagine, Hurricane Harvey knocked out medical services in the hardest hit areas, and damage at the hospital in Aransas Pass left residents with no emergency room within 30 miles.

However, some Dallas doctors have now set up a new clinic where it is needed most, and if patients cant pay, the services are free.

We just opened our doors over here at the beginning of August, said Dr. Carrie de Moor, CEO of Code Three Emergency Partners, a brand new urgent care clinic that has seen a good share of emergencies in just the last week.

50 patients already so far this morning, De Moor said. As people start coming back into town and get hurt. We’re taking care of walking wounded. We’re taking care of anything thats an emergency.

They’ve even got an outdoor walk-up immunization desk for tetanus shots.

Inside, only two exam rooms are up and running. The rest of the building is still being worked on in hopes of opening that section of the building as soon as possible.

We built this facility actually because we knew this was an underserved community to begin with, and now we’re the only ones left standing in this general vicinity and the county to take care of anybody, said Dr. De Moor.

The two-room clinic is staffed with several ER doctors equipped with X-ray, ultrasound and a lab, all up and running thanks to generators and a caring staff.

Code Three doctors will be open 24-7, and regardless of a patients ability to pay, no one will be turned away.

2017 KIII-TV

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Emergency room crews learn to spot elder abuse – LA Daily News

Abuse often leads to depression and medical problems in older patients even death within a year of an abusive incident.

Yet, those subjected to emotional, physical or financial abuse too often remain silent. Identifying victims and intervening poses challenges for doctors and nurses.

Because visits to the emergency room may be the only time an older adult leaves the house, staff in the ER can be a first line of defense, said Tony Rosen, founder and lead investigator of the Vulnerable Elder Protection Team (VEPT), a program launched in April at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center ER.

The most common kinds of elder abuse are emotional and financial, Rosen said, and usually when one form of abuse exists, so do others. According to a New York study, as few as 1 in 24 cases of abuse against residents age 60 and older were reported to authorities.

The VEPT program initially funded by a small grant from The John A. Hartford Foundation (a Kaiser Health News funder) and now fully funded by the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation includes Presbyterian Hospital emergency physicians Tony Rosen, Mary Mulcare and Michael Stern. These three doctors and two social workers take turns being on call to respond to signs of elder abuse. Also available when needed are psychiatrists, legal and ethical advisers, radiologists, geriatricians and security and patient-services personnel.

We work at making awareness of elder abuse part of the culture in our emergency room by training the entire staff in how to recognize it, said Rosen. Its easy for the ER staff to alert the VEPT team and begin an investigation, he said.

A doctor interviews the patient and conducts a head-to-toe physical exam looking for bruises, lacerations, abrasions, areas of pain and tenderness. Additional testing is ordered if the doctor suspects abuse.

Unlike with child abuse victims, where there is a standard protocol in place for screening, there is no equivalent for the elderly, but we have designed and are evaluating one, said Rosen.

The team looks for specific injuries. For example, radiographic images show old and new fractures, which suggest a pattern of multiple traumatic events. Specific types of fractures may indicate abuse, such as midshaft fractures in the ulna, a forearm bone that can break when an older adult holds his arm in front of his face to protect himself.

When signs of abuse are found but the elder is not interested in cooperating with finding a safe place or getting help, a psychiatrist is asked to determine if that elder has decision-making capacity. The team offers resources but can do little more if the patient isnt interested. They would have to allow the patient to return to the potentially unsafe situation.

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Patients who are in immediate danger and want help or are found not to have capacity may be admitted to the hospital and placed in the care of a geriatrician until a solution can be found. Unlike with children and Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services wont become involved until a patient has been discharged, so hospitalization can play an important role in keeping older adults safe.

During the first three months of the program, more than 35 elders showed signs of abuse, and a large percentage of them were later confirmed to be victims. Changes in housing or living situations were made for several of them.

Its difficult to identify and measure appropriate outcomes for elder abuse victims, because each patient may have different care goals, said Rosen, but we are working on making a case that detection of elder abuse and intervention in the ER will improve the patients lives. We also hope to show that it will save money, because when an elder is in a safe place, expensive, frequent trips to the ER may no longer be needed.

The teams ultimate goal is to optimize acute care for these vulnerable victims and ensure their safety. They plan to work at continually tweaking VEPT to improve the program and to connect to emergency medical, law enforcement and criminal justice services. Eventually, they hope to help other emergency departments set up similar programs.

This story was produced by Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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New emergency room among big changes at Rapid City hospital – Huron Daily Tribune

Updated 10:21am, Saturday, August 26, 2017

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) A $200 million transformation of Rapid City Regional Hospital has begun with the completion of a three-level parking garage.

The Rapid City Journal reports the most profound upcoming changes include the move of the hospital’s main entrance from the north side to the south side of the building; integration of inpatient and outpatient cardiac care services; expansion of the emergency department and the addition of another parking garage.

“Two years from now what we’re going to see is something completely different, better access for patients and better access for all of our clinical teams,” Paulette Davidson, the hospital’s chief operating officer, said at a Tuesday gathering inside a recently completed 754-space parking facility just south of the main hospital complex. “And this is just the beginning.”

The new, three-story front entrance will be made with glass, and the 36,000-square-foot emergency department will have more patient beds and medical offices.

The new emergency department will be 150 percent larger than the current space, which is already the busiest in the state with 85,000 visits per year. It’ll include five trauma exam rooms, more than 30 private exam rooms, enclosed parking for six ambulances and elevator access to a rooftop helipad.

A 30,000-square-foot intermediate care cardiac unit with outpatient offices of the Heart and Vascular Institute will be located on the level above the new emergency department.

“It’s going to be a fantastic change and will continue to advance the level of cardiac care that people have become accustomed to,” said Joseph Tuma, a cardiologist.

The project is slated for completion in 2020.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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New emergency room among big changes at Rapid City hospital – Huron Daily Tribune

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Bethesda mistakenly bills woman $1000 after ER waiting room visit – WCPO

Judy Burton said was feeling some pains on a recent Saturday night.

So the Liberty Township, Ohio woman rushed to the emergency room at the new Bethesda Butler Hospital just outside Hamilton.

“I signed in at the receptionist’s desk, and she put a little hospital band on my wrist, and told me to go to the waiting room,” Burton said.

Forty-five minutes and a few magazines later, she said her pain subsided.

“And I said ‘I’m not going to sit here,’ because I had no idea how much longer I would have to wait to see a nurse,” she said.

So she went home.

Quick visit, huge bill

But a couple of weeks later she was hit by a different kind of pain. This was in the form of a hospital bill for $1,059.

“For sitting in their chair in the waiting room, and I never saw anybody,” Burton said.

At first, she didn’t think much of it, figuring it was just a simple clerical error. She suspected Bethesdabilled her for a full emergency room visit, not realizing she had left.

But when she called, Burton said the hospital would not drop the charges. She said they would only offer a payment plan.

“She told me ‘we can give you financial assistance.’ And I said ‘I’m not paying it. I never saw a nurse or a doctor, no vitals were taken. I just sat in your chair,'” Burton said.

Then she said it got even worse.

“The woman said you will be turned over to collections,” Burton said. “And I thought ‘oh my gosh!'”

ER billing surprises common

Pat Palmer, a nationally known patient advocate with Billadvocates.com,said emergency room surprises are common everywhere.

“We are paying extreme costs that are not necessary,” she said.

Palmer said she commonly sees itemized bills for things ranging from $11 tissues to $50 latex gloves, which can send a simple visit for a stomach ache soaring well into the hundreds of dollars. From the moment you check in, and they put a wrist band on you, costs can start accruing.

Palmer said if you feel you were overcharged during an ER visit:

Some good news

After WCPOcontacted TriHealth, which runs Bethesda Butler Hospital, spokesman Joe Kelly said Burton’s situation was all a big error.

It turns out, she should not have been billed $1,000 to sit in the waiting room, Kelly said.

“We inadvertently did not remove her visit from our tracking system when she left, and a bill was processed when it should not have been,” he said. “We have taken steps to ensure this situation does not happen again.” (Please see below for his complete statement).

TriHealthremoved the entire charge, he said. Burton said the hospital also sent her flowers to apologize.

Lesson learned

There’s a lesson here for everyone who ever gets a hospital or doctor bill that looks wrong. Don’t simply pay it, and assume you’ll mention it to the office staff next time you visit.

Demand they itemize the charges, let them know you are disputing it and then carefully detail the mistakes in writing. That way, you don’t waste your money.

_______________________

Full statement from TriHealth

“The patient registered for medical care at a TriHealth facility but ultimately chose not to receive care.

We inadvertently did not remove her visit from our tracking system when she left and a bill was processed when it should not have been. We have taken steps to ensure this situation does not happen again.

When we learned of the error, we immediately reached out to the patient by phone and certified mail to extend a formal apology. We also removed the charge from her account and cancelled the claim with her insurance company.

In addition, we conducted a review to determine how the mistake was made so that it would not happen again. We value all of our customers and strive to provide the highest quality, most accurate billing service possible. We apologize for our mistake.

We encourage every patient and customer who has any questions regarding billing to call our customer service number immediately so we can resolve the issue as quickly as possible.”

Joe Kelly, TriHealth Spokesman

____________________

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Influx of seniors challenge emergency room system – Thousand Oaks Acorn

The number of older people in emergency rooms is expected to increase significantly over the next 30 years, doubling in the case of those older than 65 and potentially tripling among those over 85.

Our healthcare system is in critically short supply of primary care physicians and geriatric specialists to treat seniors. As a result, many seniors end up in emergency rooms rather than being treated in the community.

The emergency room can be an overwhelming place for seniors, as they must enter an unfamiliar environment, field rapid-fire questions, then experience fear and anxiety about the diagnosis that awaits.

Are our emergency rooms prepared for this significant growth in senior patients? The answer might be no, unless we heed a call to arms in the following critical areas.

Mental health

Nationwide, more than half of the people with mental illness go untreated, according to Mental Health America. Many seniors with mental illness dont realize they have it because they are dealing with multiple medical issues.

Their challenges are rarely purely psychiatric, and consequently, its hard in the ER to receive prompt comprehensive care for their mental illness.

Two hospital studies conducted from 2007 to 2010 found that the number of patients age 65 and older coming to the ER with mental health issues such as dementia, Alzheimers and depression increased nearly 21 percent. A lack of awareness among the general population about the mental illnesses facing seniors leads to older patients often ending up in the ER when a crisis occurs.

Drug side effects

An increasing number of older people are arriving at the ER as a result of side effects or adverse reactions to the prescription drugs they are taking.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35 percent of ER visits due to adverse events from prescription medications in 2013-14 were by adults age 65 years and older, compared with 26 percent in 2005-06. Among that group, seniors made up 44 percent of those who required hospitalization as a result of the drugs adverse effects.

Blood thinners, antibiotics and diabetes agents were involved in almost half of the prescription-drug-related visits.

In our fragmented healthcare system, patients are often seen by multiple physicians, each having an incomplete view of the patients drug use. Clinicians often hesitate to discontinue medications because of lack of familiarity with the medication or patient.

Opiates

Just last week the California Health Report published an article stating that the rate of patients over 65 seeking care at hospital ERs for opioid-related issues in California was second only to Arizona among the 50 states.

Often, older Americans who struggle with opioid addiction have been prescribed the medication to deal with managing pain upon being discharged from the hospital following surgery.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, of those who received an opioid prescription, more than 42 percent still had the prescription in place 90 days after they left the hospital.

ER visits often focus on the physical injuries (pain and broken bones from a fall that really was due to the loss of fine motor skillsa result of long-term opioid use) and push the root cause into the background. Because of the stigma, seniors also struggle with admitting drug dependency.

Identifying the caregiver

Almost half of all seniors over the age of 70 live alone today. Who advocates for them and how are these advocates identified in the emergency room?

Seniors enter the ER either from home, an assisted-living facility or, in some cases, from the streets. Frequently they do not have a family caregiver or an individual who is operating as their designated healthcare proxy with them.

The ER can be an overwhelming place, and a second set of ears, eyes and voice can lead to a better set of outcomes. Family caregivers also play critical roles in transitions from hospital to home or other post-acute settings.

As a community, we have an opportunity to work together to educate seniors and caregivers on what to expect when they enter the hospital and to inform hospital staff about the many challenges todays seniors face.

Consider joining Senior Concerns as it hosts a seminar titled Things You Should Know Before Your Next Hospital Stay from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tues., Sept. 19 at 401 Hodencamp Road, Thousand Oaks. Call (805) 497- 0189 to reserve your seat.

Andrea Gallagher, a certified senior advisor, is president of Senior Concerns, a nonprofit agency serving Ventura and western Los Angeles counties. For more information, visit http://www.seniorconcerns.org, and for comments or questions, email agallagher@seniorconcerns.org.

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Influx of seniors challenge emergency room system – Thousand Oaks Acorn

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Is it an urgent medical issue or one for the emergency room? – Pocono Record

Christine Meyer, CRNP, Ask the Doctor

Q: Ive seen lots of advertisements in the community for urgent care/immediate care centers. What is the difference between those and the emergency room, and how do you know which one to go to?

A.:Many of us can relate to these scenarios or ones like them: Its early on a Sunday morning and your 7-year-old daughter comes into your bedroom crying with ear pain. Your pediatricians office is closed. Or, youre walking down the stairs carrying a bundle of laundry when you take a tumble. Now your ankle is really sore when you try to walk on it. In these cases, it may be the perfect opportunity to visit an immediate care or urgent care center rather than the emergency room.

Here are some ways to be sure you should go there instead of seeking a higher level of care in an ER:

When its not a true medical emergency but needs to be treated today

In a study by the Centers for Disease Control, 48 percent of U.S. adults visited the ER because their regular doctors offices werent open. So, judging by the data, it appears as though many patients visit the ER to receive care for minor illnesses or injuries when there are other options options that would free up space in the ER for critically ill patients who truly need the highest level of care.

As a general rule, immediate care or urgent care centers such as Lehigh Valley Health Networks ExpressCARE Centers located throughout Monroe County help bridge the gap when youre unable to see your primary care physician but cant wait for treatment. Just be sure the sudden illness or injury is something you normally would have spoken with your regular doctor about and does not appear to be life-threatening.

Some non-urgent reasons to visit an ExpressCARE include:

Common cold

Allergies

Sinusitis

Cough, sore throat

Ear pain

Bronchitis

Minor fever

Rashes, including poison ivy

Animal bites (rabies vaccine available at Lehigh Valley HospitalPoconos Mattioli Emergency Center)

Minor headache

Back pain

Broken bone without an open wound

Nausea

Common sprain or strains

Shallow laceration

Flu/flu shots.

When its time for the emergency center

On the flip side, emergency centers provide the highest acuity of care around the clock and are equipped with both staffing and services to treat and stabilize patients with even the most serious of injuries. For example, Lehigh Valley HospitalPoconos Mattioli Emergency Center treats numerous medical conditions that are considered true emergencies and require rapid and advanced treatments, such as heart attack and stroke. In addition, LVHPocono is a Level III Trauma Center the only trauma program in Monroe County and has the resources to treat traumatic injuries resulting from car crashes and other serious accidents. Some examples of medical emergencies that need to be treated in an ER include:

Persistent chest pain accompanied by sweating, vomiting or shortness of breath

Heart palpitations

Fainting, balance problems, state of confusion, sudden difficulty in speaking, sudden vision changes or seizures

Weakness on one side of the face or body or sudden, severe headache

Breathing problems

Coughing up blood

Severe pain of any kind

Severe pain the abdomen or starting in the lower portion of the back

Severe burns of any kind

Baby less than three months old with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher

High fever or fever with rash

Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy

Broken bones with an open wound or head or eye injuries

Serious falls while on blood thinning medication

Deep lacerations that wont stop bleeding

Persistent, severe vomiting or diarrhea

Suicidal feelings

Sudden pain and swelling of the testicles.

When in doubt, go with your gut

If you, a family member or friend is experiencing a medical issue and youre unsure about how to best seek medical care, trust your instincts. If you feel its warranted, dont hesitate just go to the nearest emergency room. Most importantly, there are some cases when its best to call 911. If you or a loved one is experiencing heart attack or stroke symptoms, severe bleeding, or faintness or dizziness, never attempt to drive to the hospital. Calling 911 can mean the difference between life and death, as emergency medical services providers are equipped to provide life-saving treatment on the way to the hospital.

When to wait to see your regular doctor

In some cases you can wait to see your primary care physician, such as when you begin to experience gradual symptoms of a recurring problem. Many times, its worth it to wait for an appointment with your doctor since they know medical history and the treatments that have been successful in the past.

In all cases, use your best judgment and when in doubt, head to the ER. Life is too precious to leave the health and safety or you and your loved ones to chance.

Christine Meyer, CRNP, is a family nurse practitioner with ExpressCARE, part of Lehigh Valley Health Network, with five locations throughout Monroe County in East Stroudsburg, Bartonsville, Brodheadsville at the West End Health Care Center, Tobyhanna at the Mountain Health Care Center and at the Health Center at Blakeslee.

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Popular to Contrary Opinion: Misadventures at the emergency room – Colorado Daily

Freeman

“How the hell did I get here?” I thought. There were so many levels to this inquiry.

“Have you had a tetanus shot lately?” a doctor asked. I think he was a doctor. It could have been a Muppet wearing scrubs for all I could tell.

“Umm.” I couldn’t remember my own name let alone my medical history. “Did I?”

“You had a seizure and hit your head,” the Sesame Street surgeon said. “You’re in an ER.”

I have epilepsy. After a seizure, my brain takes a while to boot back up. “I’m supposed to be at work. Am I going to get fired?”

“Your seizure happened at work. If you get fired, you’ll be able to sue them so bad you’ll be able to retire. You’re just fine, Casey. We just need to let things settle down and then we’ll stitch you up.”

“OK. I … I’m sorry. I don’t have insurance.”

“Don’t worry about that right now,” Dr. Muppet sounds kind. Even though I could barely process thoughts, I worried about paying for this.

Then I heard a new voice: “I hate Mexicans! I am a Mexican! You should never bow down to the master of the commander in the universe of gods of monsters and the Bible that will never foretell the book of love!”

“Oh shit,” Doc mutters. “I thought this was going to be a slow night. Just wait, and we’ll stitch you up and get you out of here.” The doctor ran out.

“This kid, we have no idea what he’s on,” I heard an EMT say. “Christ! We’ve got six guys trying to hold him down!”

“There is never a beginning to the beginning,” tripper dude continued. “Let me go so I can spread the love of words and the words of love and the love of love and word of word!”

“He’s got no ID. We didn’t find anything on him except for cigarettes,” another EMT says. She’d be yelling, but it sounds like she’s too tired. “Hey! Buddy! What did you take and how many?”

“I took five! I’ve created a monster! I’m alive and I exist.”

“Took five of what?”

Across the hall, I hear somebody else.

“Get me out of this shithole! I want to go to Northwestern University Hospital! I have insurance! I shouldn’t be here with this scum!”

A nurse runs up to him. “Look, sir. Please. You can’t pull your IVs out. We’re trying to help you. This is just the hospital closest to you.” The guy screams at her some more, and I can hear her say a little louder than under her breath, “Asshole.”

Meanwhile, tripper dude is still at it: “I have a library in my head and absolutely nothing is overdue except that ghost in the beginning of ‘Ghostbusters’!”

As I watched this dude struggle in his shackles, I looked to one of the police officers watching over him and asked, “Am I in trouble?”

“For what? Are you on something?”

“No. I had a seizure.”

“Shit. Well, don’t worry about it. But look at this guy.” The cop motions to the tripper and laughs. “Don’t do drugs.”

“Look bitch! I want to be in a nice hospital! You’ve got this fatass on drugs and this retard looking like a lost kid in the mall! Take. Me. To. A. Nice. Hospital!”

“Sir. I’m going to have to ask you to settle down.”

“I’ll sue your ass!”

“Excuse me, Mr. Freeman.” Doc’s back. “Please, sit down. I’ll stitch you up.”

“Did I get sent to this place because, because I’m crazy?” I asked. “Or an asshole?”

Doctor Muppet shakes his head. “I ask myself the same thing sometimes.”

Read more Freeman: coloradodaily.com/columns. Stalk him: comfyconfines.wordpress.com

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Popular to Contrary Opinion: Misadventures at the emergency room – Colorado Daily

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Millions of Americans live nowhere near a hospital, jeopardizing their lives – CNN

She is one of many medical providers working in towns 30 miles or more from a hospital, a distance that can make the difference between life or death.

The recent debates over the Affordable Health Care Act raised concerns that millions of Americans could lose access to health care. But already, there are many Americans who live in areas where critical-care services are lacking.

Dr. Jeremy Brown, director of the National Institute of Health’s Office of Emergency Care Research, said treatments for heart attacks and strokes are most effective when done quickly.

“Every minute that you can get the patient into treatment sooner will represent some brain cells that are saved,” he said.

Areas without hospitals are called “hospital deserts.” The deserts are biggest in Western states. In Nevada, for instance, there are only 13 hospitals providing critical-care services to rural areas.

The 2,400 residents of Tonopah, Nevada, who live halfway between Las Vegas and Reno, must travel more than 100 miles to get to a hospital. It was one of the most extreme examples that CNN found outside of Alaska.

Jessica Thompson, a registered nurse there, has family roots in the community dating back more than a century.

“I’ve been told multiple times that’s what I get for (choosing) to live in rural Nevada and that really upsets me, because that isn’t the choice I made. I was born in a hospital and I had a hospital my entire life up until two years ago,” she said.

Thompson worked at the hospital before it closed. She said the loss of the hospital was devastating, evoking lots of emotion.

“People angry, people sad, people scared,” she said. “You know the fear of, ‘Will I make it to another facility if something bad happens?’ “

Irene Carlyle said she and her husband moved from Los Angeles in 2005, hoping to stay in Tonopah. But now she doesn’t know if that will happen.

“We’re both on Medicare,” she said. “I said (to my husband), ‘You know, at some point, we’re going to have to move.’ It’s going to come. I mean at some point you get sick.”

Last year, the nonprofit Renown Medical Group began leasing space to provide primary care services, but for now, there are no immediate urgent care options.

Other parts of the country are dealing with similar problems, including pockets of Florida, Texas and New York.

A report last year by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation predicts that the problem will worsen as more rural hospitals are likely to shut down. This is in part because rural towns are losing population and becoming poorer.

Republican hopes to repeal and replace Obamacare could make the problem much worse, experts say, if millions of American lose their health insurance. That would put even more pressure on rural hospitals.

Some in Congress have proposed efforts to try to save rural hospitals. A bipartisan group of senators led by Iowa Republican Charles Grassley introduced a bill that would change Medicare rules to allow rural hospitals to have an emergency room and outpatient care, without the need for hospital beds.

“A car accident or a heart attack is dangerous under the best of circumstances, but it’s a lot more dangerous for someone who’s far away from an emergency room,” Grassley said. “When a rural hospital closes, its emergency room closes with it.”

Thompson, the nurse in Tonopah, believes something needs to be done.

“There’s a lot of people out in the rural community who feel like they’ve been forgotten,” she said.

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Emergency Room wait times are getting worse at UNM Hospital – KOAT Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.

Wait times at UNM Hospitals emergency room are getting worse.

The most recent information from UNMH is from April, and shows the average wait times for patients in the adult emergency room is nine hours and 30 minutes.

Thats two hours longer than it was a year before.

Its also more than double the national average of about four hours.

It takes such a long time, said Nyira Gitana, who took her friend to the UNMH emergency room Tuesday.

She said they spent 14 hours in the emergency room.

A spokesperson said the hospital has implemented changes in the last six months to improve wait times, but say the hospital is usually more than 90 percent full.

That means on its busiest days, there are more patients than available beds, and that could leave you waiting for a very long time.

Gitana said that is exactly what they experienced.

She had to lay on a gurney. It was horrible and there were no rooms, said Gitana.

Gitana also said the wait in the packed emergency room wasnt very pleasant.

I thought I was walking into a refugee camp, that’s how awful it was. Some of them were drunk, some of them were mentally ill, she said.

Gitana said APD officers and hospital security were doing what they could to control things, but said it was all very overwhelming.

Despite the long wait time, Gitana said she has no complaints about the care her friend received from the medical staff at UNMH.

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Virtual ER Cuts Down on Wait Times at MedStar – NBC4 Washington

A Washington, D.C., hospital is using technology to cut down on emergency room waiting time.

Dr. Ethan Booker helped develop Tele-triage at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. From a command center in another part of the hospital, Booker can virtually visit patients who show up at the ER.

The idea is that the patient will get seen by a doctor faster and will get blood work done, radiology done, and so by the time we have an open room, everything’s resulted and it expedites the care, nurse Shannon Silsby said.

Since it began last year, Tele-triage has treated 15,000 patients. The hospital estimates ER wait times have been cut by more than 26 percent.

MedStar isn’t the only healthcare facility in the area using technology to make medicine more efficient. In the spring, Maryland Physicians Care rolled out an app with the capability to let patients text and video chat with ER doctors. The app allows members to ask the doctors questions and determine whether a trip to an emergency room is necessary.

Published at 5:37 PM EDT on Aug 2, 2017 | Updated at 7:47 PM EDT on Aug 2, 2017

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