USA: More on Hospital ER Waits

Posted on July 16, 2011


USA: This is a follow up to yesterday’s news item on the truth behind hospital wait times and what it means to patient survival rates. This article called The Waits That Matter ran in Health Policy and Reform and was sourced in Dr. Chen’s piece. (Thanks, Helen, for the heads up!) What should disturb you about this story?  This preventable death happened to a physician’s mother – a physician who had direct contact with her attending ER team, but was non-the-less unable to cut through the bureaucratic fog to get her the care she needed. I have been telling you for two solid years that no one – not even a practicing MD festooned with accolades and degrees – can help a hospitalized person get the care they need. Once you put on that hospital bracelet, you become part of  their system.  You are at their mercy. Sometimes they listen. Too many times they don’t. And that is chilling indeed.

One more thing, here’s the obligatory July Hospital Death Warning that cycles through the media every summer, along with Great White Shark sitings and stories about the dangers of fireworks. My advice: postpone that elective surgery and stay out of the ER.