A recent Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NPR, Harvard School of Public Health poll reveals that one in three people in this country visited the ER in the last two years. And, it’s often not because they have an emergency. It’s rather because we don’t offer them a viable alternative.
Almost half of all patients who received emergency care say they did not do so because they had an emergency. People often choose the ER because they can’t find a doctor to see, and it’s a convenient solution. Either they can’t schedule an appointment quickly enough. Or, the medical facility they use is not open when they need it.
For the most part, hospital emergency rooms are generally set up to treat emergencies, not routine care. Many people who end up in the ER report low satisfaction with both the cost and quality of their care. Long waits for treatment are the norm.
Why shouldn’t hospitals be able to treat all comers in a satisfactory way and at a reasonable cost?
Here’s some advice about hospital care from Just Care:
- Check out the hospitals in your area; talk to your doctors and friends. Some are poor on patient safety.
- Whether the hospital has enough nurses can affect the quality of care you get.
- It’s wise to plan ahead for a hospital visit. Here are seven tips.
- And, here are seven smart things to do before you leave the hospital.
- Most hospitals offer financial assistance.