Few people expect to be involved in a health emergency. If surveyed, many people might respond that they don’t think they’ll spend so much as a second in an emergency room. Yet, emergencies do happen more than people might think. Knowing how to deal with a medical emergency could shorten the amount of time it takes to receive critical care. It could also help save a loved one’s life.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of 2009, there were 136.1 million visits to an emergency room. Of these visits, 45.4 million were related to injuries. In addition, there were 45.1 visits to emergency rooms per 100 people, children and adults included. Only 21.7 percent of the people visiting an emergency room were seen within 15 minutes or less.
Benefits of Using Check In Emergency Room Programs
The fact that only 12.6 percent of the people visiting emergency rooms were actually admitted to a medical facility to receive ongoing in-patient treatment, may make it clear that people go to emergency facilities for a broad range of conditions, including non-emergency conditions. For example, some people travel to critical care centers to receive immediate guidance on how to respond to muscle sprains, to diminish flu symptoms, or even to examine a fussy infant who won’t stop crying even if the infant is in pain due to gas buildup.
If people learn how to deal with a health emergency, they could eliminate the need to visit a hospital. Should this not be possible, they could lower the amount of time they spend waiting for a doctor to see them. Additionally, some steps to deal with health emergencies are taken before emergencies occur. For example, tips on dealing with health emergencies include:
- Educating yourself on symptoms for certain illnesses and injuries
- Keeping emergency medical supplies like bandages, thermometers and blood pressure kits on hand
- Checking the dates on medications, ensuring that old medicines are thrown out
- Writing down the names and numbers of family physicians and specialists and keeping the data in easy to reach locations
- Familiarizing yourself with check in system procedures
- Understanding rules in place at check in emergency room organizations
- Teaching each person in your family how to respond to emergencies like fevers and accidents
Should health emergencies occur, people can get access to health reservation systems to reserve time at a medical facility. A health reservation system may operate off zip codes, meaning people can type in their zip code, locate the nearest medical facility and find out what current emergency room wait times are at those facilities. This way a check in system can help people choose hospitals that have the shortest wait times.
These evolving check in system tools could help improve the overall level of care that hospitals provide. The systems could also help hospitals and government healthcare agencies find out how many people actually seek emergency care, when these people reach out for care and how many people cancel hospital reservation system appointments because their efforts to deal with a health condition at home proved successful. That said, all people experiencing health emergencies are encouraged to seek professional medical assistance as soon as possible.
http://emergency.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/ (CDC: Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event)
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/ervisits.htm (CDC: Emergency Department Visits)
This article was written by Rhonda Campbell.