August 13, 2010

New JAMA report highlights America's ER crisis

Los Angeles is definitely not the only city experiencing a crisis in emergency care. Our film Firestorm captures this national trend, but for those who remain skeptic about the severity of this issue then check out The Journal of the American Medical Association's recent report on national ER visits.

One of the report's findings: the number of patient visits in emergency rooms nationwide rose from 95 million to 117 million in 10 years. You may think "But ER visits will obviously increase with the growth of population, so what's the big deal?" The big deal is that while the number of patient visits grew 23%, only HALF of that increase can be attributed to the population growth. AND as the demand for ERs grew by this surge in visits, the number of ERs dropped by 5%.

So, still not convinced our nation
has an emergency medical care problem??

Learn more about the JAMA report in this LA Times' Health Care blog post: Emergency rooms are getting more crowded everywhere, study finds