East Valley AZ news on ED overcrowding

In a very well written article from Arizona’s East Valley Tribune was this gem of a quip:

Down the hall, another woman is briefly handcuffed to her hospital bed. Mesa police arrested her for drunken driving and after finding a crack pipe in her car. A diabetic, she complained of lethargy and low blood sugar. Police brought her to the ER’s back door.

“We call it ‘arrest-o-genic shock,’ ” says Jane Rich, the night charge nurse who’s just taken over for Howard. “Sometimes I feel like we’re running a day care for naughty little children.”

It’s a very good article, and doesn’t try to whitewash the issue.  Apparently everyone knows there’s a crisis in the ED’s, but nobody knows how to fix it.  (And, as Symtym says, “Just go to the ER is not a national health policy”).


Comments

  1. True, there is no one solution. For me, I’m busting my ass trying to keep patients out of the ED. If only a small number of my colleagues in my community did likewise it just might catch on. But the lazy bastards wont do it.

    best,

    Flea

  2. And it doesn’t seem to be getting any better—it looks like it’s simply getting worse.

  3. The “Go to the ED” strategy by a large chunk of population is not only contributing to waste, but also perhaps delaying care for those requiring emergent care. Unfortunately, no one has any bright idea to solve this multifaceted problem.

  4. Flea, I especially appreciate anyone trying to keep their patients out of the ED, so thanks to you from your ED colleagues.

  5. Does anybody know how the hospital was able to get around HIPAA and allow this reporter in to observe so much? While I agree that it was a great article, if I were a patient, I would absolutely be furious if the doctor walked into my room with a reporter right behind him.

  6. Derrick,
    I didn’t read anything in there that looked like a HIPAA violation. The opening vignettes could have been written from the nurses’ station, and there isn’t enough info there to personally identify any one patient.

    When patients were identified, I’d bet the reporter identified themselves and asked if they’d mind being interviewed. No reporter wants to get sued, so they’re careful about putting names with quotes.

    How do you feel about the “Life in the ER” cameras? I think they’re a LOT more intrusive; they do go back and retrospectively get releases from people they air (I understand).

  7. ONE SOLUTION… ALLOW THE ED REGISTRATION PEOPLE TO COLLECT UP FRONT FOR NON EMERGENCY VISITS. THIS WOULD BE AFTER A TRIAGE ASSESSMENT/SCREENING BY RN/MD