Why wait times in the emergency room are so long in California

Health News
Tags :
Health News
Share This :

emergency room
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Explaining why wait times can be so lengthy in the emergency room, a new study by UC San Francisco reports that emergency department capacity hasn’t kept up with patient demand in California over the last decade.

The researchers found that the number of emergency departments (EDs) decreased by nearly 4% in California, while the number of ED visits rose by 7.4%. It is the first analysis of emergency medicine patterns in the state in recent years. The researchers also reported that the number of high-severity visits rose by nearly 68%, while the number of low-severity visits declined by 63%.

“We know that there is overcrowding in the ED,” said lead author Renee Y. Hsia, MD, a UCSF professor of emergency medicine. “Capacity has largely failed to match the rise in patient demand.”

The paper published June 22, 2023 in JAMA Network Open.

Amid numerous changes in the U.S. health care system in recent years, emergency departments (EDs) continue to play a vital role in the system. EDs are required to treat all patients regardless of ability to pay, and they function as a safety net for uninsured patients, many of whom use the ED for primary care services.

The new study used data from the California Department of Health Care Access and Information and the U.S. Census Bureau from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2021.

In that time, California’s population grew by 4.2%, but the number of emergency departments in California fell from 339 to 326, while the number of hospital beds decreased by 2.5% (75,940 to 74,052).

“Our findings show what many health care workers already know to be true: The burden on emergency departments across the state of California has intensified over the last 10-15 years,” Hsia said.

“Becoming aware of these trends is the first step to improving emergency department care,” she said. “To efficiently and equitably address ED crowding and improve overall care, policy makers and health care administrators should work to increase ED capacity, while also making thoughtful decisions about where and how to best allocate resources.”

Co-authors from UCSF include Renee Y. Hsia, MD, MSc; Stefany Zagorov; Michael T. Savides; Madeline Feldmeier; and Newton Addo. Co-author from the National Bureau of Economic Research is Nandita Sarkar, Ph.D.

More information:
Renee Y. Hsia et al, Patterns in Patient Encounters and Emergency Department Capacity in California, 2011-2021, JAMA Network Open (2023). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.19438 . jamanetwork.com/journals/jaman … /fullarticle/2806473

Why wait times in the emergency room are so long in California (2023, June 22)
retrieved 23 June 2023
from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2023-06-emergency-room-california.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular News Posts


Our Exclusive Products

Our Store

Our mission is simple, offer quality products that make our customers lives better at a reasonable price, while ensuring a hassle-free shopping experience. This means that before we bring a product to market, we test it to ensure that it meets our high-level quality standards. Our customer service team understand our products and can answer most every product related question quickly and efficiently. We strive everyday to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations of quality and support! Should we ever fail to meet this expectation – contact us and we will make it right!

Our Value: We are proud of our product and accomplishments, but we typically don’t shout it from the rooftop. Instead, we prefer to let our product and customers do the talking. Our core values can be recognized in our product. The qualities we strive for include:

Pragmatism: We design simple, useful solutions for common needs
Quality: From design to final product, we strive for durable solutions that work
Originality: Creativity and innovation are what makes our product unique
Design: Our minimalist and bold design language focuses on functionality and simplicity that is timeless

0 +

Top Rated Products

0 +

Happy Customers