A: In the past 10 years, hospital emergency room wait times have increased. For people with serious, life-threatening injuries, minutes can mean the difference between life and death. Unfortunately, minorities and the low income population tend to receive lower quality healthcare than non-minorities. This is especially true for inner city clinics and hospital emergency rooms such as the ones in Philadelphia. There are steps which can be taken to receive better, faster care.
Some of the things which patients can do to decrease waiting times and get better care in an emergency care situation include things like calling an ambulance or calling a family/primary care doctor.
In life and death situations, driving to an emergency room can increase wait times. However, being transported by ambulance may decrease wait times and allow the patient to be admitted immediately. For example, in stroke situations, being transported by ambulance versus driving to the emergency room could save the person’s life.
Calling a family doctor before going to the emergency room may also help the patient get better treatment at the clinic or hospital. In most situations, the family doctor will call ahead and speak to hospital or clinic staff. This aids in the transmission of important information such as lab results, medication dosages, prior medical history, etc.
Access a related article for more tips on how to get better care in a hospital emergency room or clinic, 8 Tips for Better Treatment in a Hospital Emergency Room or Clinic.
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