ER Info. - December 2000 Introduction Emergency...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
December 2000 Introduction Emergency Department (ED) overcrowding is a national problem and has become a chronic state in many departments. Overcrowding can be defined as: "a situation in which demand for service exceeds the ability to provide care within a reasonable time, causing physicians and nurses to be unable to provide quality care." While the winter epidemic of respiratory illness results in increased public attention, Emergency Department overcrowding reflects complex, systemic problems within the health care system, not just a temporary volume spike during a pandemic influenza season. The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians [CAEP], and the National Emergency Nurses Affilliation [NENA] would like to outline some of the factors responsible for this problem. Causes of Overcrowding 1. Lack of beds for Admitted Patients Increased waiting times for transfer to an inpatient bed has become the most important cause of ED overcrowding. Over the past 5 years, hospital beds in Canada have been reduced by almost 40 percent nationally. While some resources have been shifted to home care and long term care, hospitals are having increased difficulty admitting patients from the ED in a timely fashion. 2. Lack of Access to Primary Care, Specialist Physicians, and Nurse Practitioners There is a shortage of family physicians, nurse practitioners and many specialists in Canada. In addition, many primary care physicians do not provide after hour access for their patients. Community nursing resources are limited in most regions of Canada, and this situation is expected to worsen over the next five years. Patients seek ED care when they do not have a family physician, when they cannot see their physician within an appropriate length of time, or when the waiting time for their specialist, test or procedure becomes too long. As their condition worsens, or if they become frustrated and worried, they seek care in the ED because they know that there is a "specialist" on call and that advanced diagnostic technology is available. Emergency Departments have become the "safety net" of the system, but they are sagging under the growing weight. 3. Shortage of Nursing and Physician staff Manpower studies reveal that there is already a shortage of trained emergency physicians, and that our residency programs will not produce enough graduates to fulfill future Canadian needs. Experienced and dedicated nursing staff are the backbone of emergency care, but projections indicate a high likelihood of ongoing nursing shortages. Currently, many Canadian hospitals cannot attract enough nurses to staff their Emergency Departments. This is partly due to a shortage of qualified nurses and partly because overcrowding has made the ED a frustrating work environment. Increasingly, limited resources prevent
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 02/05/2011 for the course ECON 1000 taught by Professor Paschakis during the Spring '08 term at York University.

Page1 / 3

ER Info. - December 2000 Introduction Emergency...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online