Considering that emergency rooms throughout New Jersey calculated 3.3 million patient visits in 2008, it is understandable that hospitals are making efforts to lower waiting periods. In doing so, it is our hope that incidents of medical malpractice decrease as well. As long as medical professionals exercise a high standard of care, it shouldn’t be a problem for emergency rooms to utilize a rapid evaluation unit so that main emergency departments can care for the most severe patients. According to a northjersey.com article, one of the main advancements is the use of an electronic bed-tracking system that helps keep medical staff informed as to when beds become available.
According to the report, an analysis of 1,725 emergency rooms showed that wait times average 37 minutes nationally for a medical professional to check a person’s vitals and inquire as to what the problem is. This timeframe is more than twice the suggested period for patients in the most critical of conditions. In regards to receiving treatment and being discharged, the national average is 4 hours and 3 minutes, with New Jersey ranking 29th in the study with 4 hours and 12 minutes. Based on the report, the President of the American College of Emergency Physicians stated that extensive waits for receiving medical care are “very troubling and dangerous.”
In discussing emergency wait timeframes and bed congestion, the director of pediatric emergency medicine at Morristown Memorial Hospital said in the article that the change required to reorganize an emergency room for rapid patient evaluation is something that some physicians and nurses may resist. Due to being extremely busy and having developed a system that they feel already works in an organized way, these medical professionals will have to be open to change in order for the rapid patient evaluation system to work properly.