Emergency room waits getting longer

Jan 15, 2008

Emergency room wait times in the United States are getting longer, especially for the severely ill, medical researchers said Tuesday.

A study from Harvard Medical School researchers at Cambridge Health Alliance said emergency room wait times increased 36 percent between 1997 and 2004.

The report, which analyzed the time between a patients arrival in the emergency department and when they were first seen by a doctor, found that the wait time increased the most for emergency patients suffering heart attacks. Those patients waited only 8 minutes in 1997, but 20 minutes in 2004. A quarter of heart attack victims in 2004 waited 50 minutes or more before seeing a doctor, Cambridge Health Alliance said in a release.

The number of emergency department visits increased from 93.4 million in 1994 to 110.2 million in 2004, while the number of hospitals operating 24-hour emergency departments decreased by 12 percent over that period.

"EDs close because, in our current payment system, emergency patients are money-losers for hospitals," lead author Dr. Andrew Wilper said in statement.

The findings were published in the journal Health Affairs.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New technologies are improving the lives of seniors

Aug 14, 2014

If Betty Lewis falls at the Edgemere senior living community, a pendant she wears around her neck will alert the staff. The device picks up the motion of the fall and notifies staff members at the North Dallas facility so ...

Designing exascale computers

Jul 23, 2014

"Imagine a heart surgeon operating to repair a blocked coronary artery. Someday soon, the surgeon might run a detailed computer simulation of blood flowing through the patient's arteries, showing how millions ...

Health record app for Google Glass developed by Drchrono

Jun 15, 2014

The future of Google Glass in health care appears to be by now not a question of if but a question of where and when. Philips Healthcare, in its explorations into health care's future, created a video that ...

Toward 24-7 glucose monitoring to help manage diabetes

Jun 11, 2014

Nearly half a million people with diabetes end up in emergency rooms around the U.S. every year due to the seizures and other consequences of dropping or spiking blood-sugar levels associated with the disease. ...

Why dogs are the new darlings of cognitive science

May 23, 2014

This will be his earliest memory. Red light, morning light. High ceiling canted overhead. Lazy click of toenails on wood. Between the honey-colored slats of the crib a whiskery muzzle slides forward until it ...

Recommended for you

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

21 hours ago

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

Medtronic spends $350M on another European deal

Aug 27, 2014

U.S. medical device maker Medtronic is building stronger ties to Europe, a couple months after announcing a $42.9 billion acquisition that involves moving its main executive offices across the Atlantic, where it can get a ...

Mind over matter for people with disabilities

Aug 26, 2014

People with serious physical disabilities are unable to do the everyday things that most of us take for granted despite having the will – and the brainpower – to do so. This is changing thanks to European ...

Ukraine's former world's tallest man dies

Aug 25, 2014

Ukraine's tallest man, who briefly held the world record but gave it up to live as a recluse, has died due to complications from the condition that saw him never stop growing, local media reported Monday.

User comments : 0