IOM Report on Emergency Medicine

The Institute of Medicine has released their report on the state of Emergency Medicine in the US: Nat’ Academies Press, Hospital-Based Emergency Care: At the Breaking Point (2006) (this is the link to the free, read-it-online version).

It’s utterly no surprise to anyone who works in an ED, and probably not to anyone who has visited one either, but the whole system is in serious trouble.

All the coverage I’ve seen has been worded remarkably similarly, meaning it’s too long to read, so the press reports are probably being gleaned from the Executive Summary. I intend to read the pertinent parts tonight after my shift.

A shift during which I expect to see a large number of patients, some terribly ill in a bed in a hallway, and some others who have a doctor but cannot wait to take their cold there tomorrow. Yes, the holiday is over, and the bile is returning.


  1. i’ll look forward to reading this later tonight. doom and gloom, but inconvenient truth. the line of patients on gurneys will probably extend all the way to the minute clinic in walmart. what a disgrace this system has become.

  2. I saw a news story today on medical clinics inside grocery stores such as Carnival foods, Sav-On, Sack and Save, etc. They said with the ability to receive convenient care at the grocery store, long wait times at public hospital emergency rooms should decrease (not holding my breath). The only caveat-each visit is a minimum charge of $45.

    Link to story: