Dr. Eric Forsthoefel, an experienced emergency room physician who has been working in the emergency room department for several years seems to have detected an emerging trend in Miami, Florida. According to the experienced emergency room physician, the number of individuals seeking medical services in the emergency department for non-urgent medical situations seems to be increasing. The heart of the matter is that this problem is not only being experienced in Florida but it also rampant in other states around the country. This is a cause for alarm as medical experts, and the policymakers need to understand why there is such a trend before it becomes too much for the emergency rooms to handle.
According to various research studies, the number of people visiting emergency rooms for non-urgent medical cases is approaching an average of 37% of all the patients visiting hospitals. Although these statistics have explicitly been located in Florida, you can easily generalize this information to other states because all the states have been reporting the same incidence. Dr. Eric Forsthoefel reports that various research studies have noted that the problem did not just start another day, but it can be traced back to 1990. However, the number has been increasing tremendously to the extent that it is attracting attention.
What many people who are interested in the trending problem want to understand is why patients would seek medical attention in the emergency room for medical cases that have been classifieds non-urgent upon critical examination. According to Dr. Eric Forsthoefel and a research study conducted in George Washington University, many individuals, especially those classified as high-income earners prefer to seek medical attention in the emergency room as they have a perception that it would take more than twenty-four hours to secure an appointment with a primary care doctor.
The finding of getting an appointment from the primary care provider exposes much information about the needy status of our hospitals such that they do not have enough primary care providers to offer the necessary medical support to patients when needed. This is something that the government and other policy makers and implementers need to put into considerations, especially if they want to reverse this trend. It appears that much emphasis has been put on ensuring that the emergency department has the necessary physicians to handle the needs of the patients at the expense of primary health care, which caters for most of the minor health cases reported in hospitals.
On the other hand, a low-income group of individuals preferred medical attention in the emergency department because they had a perception that they would get qualified and professional medical attention than they would get in the primary care department. Moreover, some of the low-income individuals did not have established relationships between themselves and the primary health care providers which means that they would prefer the services of an emergency room for its conveniences. Dr. Eric Forsthoefel continues to indicate that millennials would prefer to seek medical attention for non-urgent medical situations in the emergency department for reasons yet to be established.