Risks of Long ER Wait Times
Quality of life is a great concern for us all, especially during the first few months of the year. We are encouraged to evaluate the important things that make up our lives, like the state of our relationships, our finances, and our health. As they say, “time is money”, and long ER wait times are more than just a huge waste of time. They potentially waste life.
While most of us promise to take better care of ourselves every new year, few of us follow through. But, even if we schedule routine doctor appointments and tests, we are all vulnerable to suffering an accident or acute illness that requires emergency care. For this reason, we will explore the impact of long wait times on the quality of life.
ER Wait Times
The truth is nobody likes to wait. We feel frustrated when our food is delayed at the restaurant. We get impatient at the stop sign when the car in front of us takes a little more time than necessary to start moving.
But, during a medical emergency, waiting can be excruciating, painful, and scary. In all honesty, no medical professional takes pleasure in making their patients wait unnecessarily. However, the reality is patients who visit overcrowded hospital ERs need to be ready to wait.
The most recent data published by ProPublica, the average time in hours a patient spends in the ER before being sent home, is 2:05 hours.
The wait times are affected by the severity of the injury or symptoms. Patients with severe trauma or those believed to be suffering from a heart attack or stroke will always get priority.
Patients whose symptoms appear non-life-threatening will have to wait longer. The problem, of course, is that since nurses and doctors at hospital ERs are so busy, many patients who are potentially severely injured fall through the cracks.
The number of patients who are seen by a doctor within 15 minutes of arrival at the ER is roughly 27%. However, the average patient waits 24 minutes before seeing a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner.
Another concern is that the number of patients who leave the ER without getting the medical help they need has almost doubled in recent years.
All this waiting can be harmful to our quality of life. Not receiving prompt medical attention can result in more severe symptoms, more extended healing periods, permanent disability or even death.
Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.
How Altus Emergency Centers Help Improve Your Quality of Life
Thanks to our unique business model, we can reduce the risk of our ER ever being overcrowded. Our staffing model ensures there are always enough medical professionals, including physicians, assistants, and nurse practitioners who can take care of our patients.
When you visit one of our facilities, on average, you will be seen by a registered nurse within 6 minutes. If your injury or symptoms are non-critical, the doctor will be at your side within 15 minutes after arrival. However, doctors will see critically ill patients on arrival. We recommend you use our online check-in form while on the way to our facility so our staff can be ready to receive you at the door.
And, thanks to our onsite laboratory and diagnostic imaging, it usually takes our doctors only 79 minutes to reach a diagnosis and begin treatment.
At Altus Emergency Centers, our patients get to go home within 90 minutes after arrival compared to more than 2 hours at overcrowded hospital ERs.
Quality of life matters to us; we know how stressful a visit to our ER can be. We work hard to provide our customers with the best emergency care, fast, and at the best rates.
While it’s true, you cannot plan for an emergency; you now know where to go!