I recently was reading a publication on the state of medical care in emergency and I came across some interesting facts which I want to share with you today. As we all know, the number of emergency rooms has burgeoned in the past few years. I therefore wanted to find out the approximate number of emergency rooms and some of the most significant facts. Some of the questions I was looking to answer include; how many emergency rooms are there in America? What is the annual count of emergency room visitors in America? What are some of the top reasons why people go to emergency rooms in America? What is the cost of emergency rooms in America? Here is a quick look at some of the facts that I came across that will help us answer the aforementioned questions;
The number of emergency rooms in America
As of 2015, there were more than 5200 documented emergency departments and rooms in the whole of the country. As we are speaking today, the number is estimated to have increased by more than 25% according to a recent research conducted by the National Emergency Department. By 2022 the number of emergency rooms is projected to be at more 10,000 if the current trend is anything to go by. There are emergency rooms mushrooming on every street corner and the services are getting closer to people. This is a positive sign and Americans should be glad because quicker services are coming closer to them.
What is the annual count of emergency room visitors in America?
The number of emergency room visits in the United States in 2015 was 137 million. This is an increase from 127.5 million in 2013. This year, the numbers are projected to hit the 150 million mark because there has been a steady increase in the number of people visiting emergency rooms in the country. This has been attributed to the preference people have developed for emergency rooms over the traditional hospitals. The emergency services are deemed to be quicker and come at a far cheaper price than those offered by other medical facilities. Besides this, emergency rooms offer quicker services and cases of admission are very few. This explains the love the Americans have developed towards medical emergency rooms.
Of the 137 million, 21% are under the age of 18 years while 64% are between 18 and 64 years old. The remaining 15% is occupied by people who are 65 years and older. This speaks volumes about the demographic most affected by emergency illnesses and accidents. Read on to find out more about the leading causes of emergency room visits in America;
What are the some of the top reasons why people visit emergency rooms in America?
Contrary to popular opinion that emergency rooms are meant for accident and trauma victims, they are equipped and are capable of handling any medical condition. In fact, trauma and injuries only account for 30% of all the emergency department visits in America. The remaining 60% or so comprises of medical conditions such as asthma, back pains, heart attacks, toothaches, neck pains, flu, colds, fever and many other conditions. This goes to show that more people are embracing the idea of getting general medical care from emergency rooms just like they would from a traditional hospital or clinic.
Of all these people who visited emergency rooms in America, only 17% were admitted. The 17% is mainly of people who are in critical conditions resulting from accidents or serious ailments such as heart attacks.
What is the average cost of emergency services in America?
Well, from the facts I read, it is very hard to approximate the average cost of the emergency room services because each service has its own quote. What I realized though for the facts that were presented is the fact that there has been a drastic decrease in the cost of emergency room services. Although the cost seems to be higher than the one offered in traditional hospitals, there has been a reduction in the overall cost of receiving services in emergency rooms in the past three or four years.
What is the average waiting time in emergency rooms in America?
Well, despite the increase in the number of emergency rooms in the country, there are long queues in emergency rooms. Of all the people who visited emergency rooms in 2015, only 10% were seen within fewer than 20%. The average waiting time in the emergency rooms before seeing a physician or a practitioner in America is estimated to be about 37 minutes and this is more than worrying. The average time spent in the emergency room before being sent home is about 2 and half hours or 150 minutes. This is one area of emergency rooms that definitely needs to be improved for the sake of the patients.