Heart Attack Not Urgent Enough At ER

With an increase of Emergency Room (ER) patients from 93.4M to 110.2M from 1997 to 2004 and a reduction in 24-hour ERs by 12%, it now takes an average of 30 minutes to get seen. If you are a heart attack victim, it takes an average of 20 minutes with 25% of the cases taking almost an hour to get seen. Since every minute counts, that seems pretty worrisome. Where else are you supposed to go with a heart attack? [This is all according to a new study in Health Affairs that is described in USA Today.]

“We can no longer guarantee that a bed is going to be available when you have your heart attack.” Linda Lawrence, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians

Interestingly, when I was looking at this article, I clicked through a few links and found a CMS tool to compare hospitals called Hospital Compare. Just selecting a few local hospitals and looking at some metrics raised some questions. Here is one quick metric. Obviously, like anything, a single metric in isolation isn’t the best way to judge, but it certainly might make you do more research.  [HINT – Click on the image below to be able to read it.]

hospital-compare-graph.jpg

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