Dr. Eric Forsthoefel weighs in on why hospitals need to reduce non-urgent visits to emergency rooms

Eric Forsthoefel is a Florida based doctor specializing in emergency medicine. He is a well-accomplished doctor who has medical licenses in the states of Florida and Los Angeles. Dr. Eric Forsthoefel first attended his medical studies at University of Louisville from 2009 to 2012.

After graduating from University of Louisville, Dr. Erick joined Louisiana state university where he completed his residency in emergency medicine. After completing his residency, Dr. Eric Forsthoefel received certifications and the required licenses from various boards in order to serve patients in the ER. Dr. Forsthoefel has also received certifications by the American board of emergency medicine to help patients in emergency medicine.

After university and receiving the numerous certifications to operate as an emergency doctor, Dr. Forsthoefel proceeded to serve the people in an emergency room where he has accrued more than six years of experience. His training and experience have made him an accomplished doctor in assessing, responding, and treating patients with emergency conditions.

Dr. Eric’s time at the emergency rooms has opened his eyes to the whole world of ER. In this article, he addresses one of the most emerging trends that concern him. According to research, one of the significant problems in healthcare is the excessive use of emergency rooms for non-acute conditions.

 

According to a survey conducted by NPR, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard T.H Chan School of public health, more than a third of Americans visit the ER even though their condition does not qualify as an emergency.

Previous research has reiterated this trend too. According to additional study, this practice has been ongoing since the 90’s.

Why is this a problem?

According to doctor Eric Forsthoefel, the lack of primary health care is one the leading reasons why people visit the emergency rooms in hospitals even though their conditions are diagnosed as non-urgent.

Regardless of the condition of the patient, each patient that visits the emergency room is attended to as an emergency case. Nurses, physicians, technicians, support staff, and other resources such as beds and medical equipment are mobilized to attend to the patient.

The high number of people visiting the ER has led to the stretching of hospital resources further, thus making it hard for the department to attend to urgent cases. Dr. Eric says that this presents a challenge to the department and minimizes the department’s efficiency.

Why do people visit the ER for non-urgent conditions and what can be done?

According to the doctor, most people visit to ER due to three reasons:

  1. Unavailability of a primary care provider in the evening and weekends
  1. Long appointment schedules – usually at least 24 hours.
  1. To avoid deductibles and copay

If these three issues are addressed, hospitals could reduce the number of people visiting the ER, a reduction that would enhance effectiveness and efficiency in their emergency departments.

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