‘Not Mine Yet:’ The Problem of Patients Under Nobody’s Care

From Time:

During a busy shift in the emergency department not long ago, I tried something new: I walked out of the double doors and into the waiting room. For a physician, the waiting room is an uncomfortable place — patients are restless and anxious, some are in pain, none have seen a doctor yet. For the patient, it’s obviously worse. So I had planned to do some customer service, to communicate to the crowd that we knew they were waiting and that we were working to get everybody seen as quickly as possible, starting with the sickest.

But when I got back behind the doors again, into the main treatment area, something felt different: I felt an unexpected surge of responsibility for the people in the waiting room.

Use of interactive technology boosts patient satisfaction

From Fierce Healthcare:

Hospitals within six different healthcare systems saw dramatic increases in their patient satisfaction rates when using interactive monitors that allow patients to communicate with staff and access information about their care, according new findings.

The interactive monitors helped boost patient satisfaction with educational materials by 42 percent and lifted overall satisfaction scores by least ten percent, including scores from the ubiquitous Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), reports the Beryl Institute.

“ERs offer more expensive alternative for primary care”

From the Paducah Sun:

Emergency room staffs are seeing more primary care cases instead of emergencies because of fewer patients with insurance, leading to more costly care.

Dr. Tariq Sayyad, an emergency physician at Western Baptist Hospital, said his department takes all cases and considers each to be an emergency. The triage process determines if a condition is emergent requiring immediate treatment, or less so and requires services akin to primary care.

Sayyad said the community needs more primary care practitioners. Patients may grow frustrated with longer wait times at a doctor’s office. If a patient seeks treatment for a primary care condition like a cold, flu, upset stomach or mildly elevated blood pressure, Sayyad and other ER staff will provide treatment. People with more pressing cases will be seen immediately, while others may experience a wait.