Safety

Emergency care in the U.S. get's near failing grade

Emergency Management Alert, December 16, 2008

Remember getting that middle school report card that you were just dreading to show your parents?

The U.S. emergency care system got one of those disappointing report cards this month. A report released by the American College of Emergency Physicians gave the country an overall grade of C-, including a near-failing D- in the “Access to Emergency Care” category. The National Report Card on the State of Emergency Medicine, included grades for each state in categories such as disaster preparedness, quality and patient safety, medical liability, and public health and injury prevention.

Top concerns when it comes to access to emergency care include:

  • Boarding of patients in emergency departments and hospital crowding
  • Lack of adequate access to on-call specialists
  • Limited access to primary care services
  • Shortages of emergency physicians and nurses
  • Ambulance diversion
  • Inadequate reimbursement from public and private insurers
  • High rates of uninsured individuals

To access the full report including state-by-state break downs, click here.

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