Dr. Eric Forsthoefel is gravely concerned about non-essential medical visits overburdening the medical system of Florida. According to a study conducted in 2016, at least thirty-percent of Americans choose to use the emergency room when there is no real emergency. With multiple factors considered, there is still no clear reason why this trend is rapidly growing among all social classes in this country. Even reports from the 1990’s reflect similar numbers with an upward trend in growth.
According to the experience of Dr. Eric Forsthoefel, there may be hundreds of non-emergency cases flowing through emergency rooms on any given day. He believes that it is due to many uninsured patients having a lack of access to other means of visiting a doctor. In countries with socialized medicine, there may be options for small clinics available for everyone so that the emergency room isn’t abused.
Let’s consider the high price tag of medical professionals in this country. With more non-urgent cases coming to the emergency room, hospitals need to employ more doctors, nurses, orderlies and other support staff to accommodate the situation. Let’s also not forget the medication, bed space, and equipment used for patients that come in without insurance. The burden is causing emergency teams to become less efficient, which is effectively endangering the lives of patients with real emergencies at hand.
Many medical experts are considering adding financial hurdles to prevent frivolous patients from abusing the kindness of emergency rooms. For example, adding a co-pay to emergency room visits may block many cases straight away. Unfortunately, this may also add the risk of blocking low-income patients from using emergency rooms, even if there is an actual emergency.
The financial aspect is not the only case of why non-essential visits are seen in emergency rooms. Even wealthy people may find that it is much quicker and convenient to go to an emergency room than schedule an appointment with their doctor. The “customer is always right” attitude takes away from the seriousness of using the emergency room.
Young adults are also a higher risk of abusing the facilities of an emergency room. This may be due to a lack of employment, health insurance or their ignorance on how the medical system works. Young people with poor families or a lack of education are even more likely in this case. Men are also a higher risk of using emergency rooms in non-essential cases.
More About Dr. Eric Forsthoefel
Dr. Eric Forsthoefel is an ER doctor with experience working at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare. With over six years of experience in emergency rooms, he has learned to make tough decisions when it comes to life-threatening emergencies in patients. He also evaluates patients on whether they are ready for discharge or require further attention.