Archives for January 10, 2006

National Report Card on the State of Emergency Medicine

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) today released the results of their state-by-state surveys of the State of Emergency Medicine. Most states aren’t going to be happy (and we all knew this when we got an email from the Texas College of Emergency Physicians President telling us not to panic when the grades came out).

Well, they’re out, here. The grading was done on the following categories: Access to Emergency Care, Quality and Patient Safety, Public Health and Injury Prevention, and Medical Liability Environment. Reading any one states’ results will tell you what they were looking for.

Apparently they didn’t find the answers here in my home state of Texas:

Here’s a State by State Comparison of grades. No final grades of A, nor F. Six B’s, which is as high as any state got, and 3 D’s, the lowest score available. There is plenty of room to argue the relative merits of the grading scale (how, exactly, do the numbers of residents and residency programs contribute to Quality and Safety? for instance), but this is an excellent starting point. On the other hand, I doubt any hospital is going to be putting a big poster of this up in their ED waiting rooms.

The point of this exercise is, as I understand it, to bring public (read: lawmaker) attention to the state of your emergency departments. I don’t pretend to know what The Answer is (I suspect it’s a lot of little answers), but what we’re doing now for EM access, and funding, is remarkably poor for such a rich country.

And ACEP is to be commended for doing the work to highlight this issue.

National Coverage:
USA Today
Washington Post