Expanding the Emergency Room Model: ‘Central Care System’ Could Help Americans Gain Universal Health Care Access

From the Huffington Post:

It may sound counter-intuitive, but sending more people to the emergency room is what I would propose. Instead of offering only emergency services, however, the ER needs to evolve to encompass mental health and primary care clinics to create a “central care system,” allowing more people to be seen. Emergency rooms already provide 24-hour care to people who need urgent medical attention, but also to those whose work schedules or other issues make it impossible to be seen during regular clinic hours. In the ER, the infrastructure already exists to see anyone with a common cold to mental health issues to heart attacks and strokes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; obtain labs, x-rays and the aforementioned CT scans (computed tomography scans — CT or “CAT” scans). It is logical to use what already works.

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