Why Are Emergency Room Waits so Long

If you have ever been to an emergency room, you will attest to the fact that they have some of the longest waiting times when it comes to receiving service. On a bad day, you can stay in line waiting to be served for upto 3 hours. Unless you are extremely lucky and find the emergency room empty, it is almost a given that you will spend at least half an hour before you can see a physician. Why is this the case though? Why are emergency room waits so long? Are the technicians and nurses negligent?

Despite an increase in the overall number of emergency departments and standalone emergency rooms in the country, the amount of time that one has to wait has not improved. If anything, it keeps getting worse. Today, we want to explore some of the reasons why the emergency room waits are so long. Here are the 5 main reasons why the emergency room waits are so long in America;

Influx of patients

One of the main reasons why the waits in the emergency rooms are so long, is because there has been a great influx in the number of patients visiting emergency rooms in the country. Thanks to a series of sensitization programs and widespread campaigns, more Americans have realized that emergency rooms offer high quality medical services which match those offered in hospitals. Considering that emergency rooms are literally in every neighborhood, people find them more convenient and hence the flocking.

2. Triage

Triage is a system used in hospitals and in emergency rooms to award priority of treatment to the people with the most serious medical conditions. The severity of your medical condition will therefore have an effect on the priority you will get from the doctors in the emergency room. Using triage, the doctors are able to assign priorities to medical emergencies depending on the urgency of the condition. Priority is given to more serious and life threatening conditions like trauma and heart attacks. When people are in such conditions, the facility always strives to ensure that they attend to them first before they can think about the other conditions like headaches and sneezing.

3. Peak hours

Emergency rooms have their own peak hours where there facilities are full of throngs of people. The hour you choose to go to the emergency room will also play a very vital role in determining whether you will receive a speedy service or will have to wait in line. According to a recent study, the best hours to visit an emergency room for far less urgent medical conditions according to a recent study, are between 6 am and noon. During these hours, most hospitals don’t have as many patients waiting in line and you are guaranteed to get quality medical care. During these morning hours, the average waiting time is close to 30 minutes. The worst hours to visit the ER are from 2 pm to midnight. These are the times that most emergency rooms receive the highest number of visitors and you will therefore have to wait a little longer in line before you can be attended to.

4. Insufficient physicians

Sometimes the number of patients in emergency rooms overwhelms that of the available medical practitioners. This means that there will be an overload and the service delivery will therefore be delayed. Some emergency rooms have very few medical personnel but since they are located in heavily populated neighborhoods, they end up receiving more people than they can comfortably handle and this makes the waits in these rooms very long.

5. The nature of facilities available

The other factor that will affect the amount of time required before you can receive the required treatment, is the nature of the available facilities and resources in the emergency room. The availability of resources and facilities or lack thereof will have a direct impact not just on the amount of time taken for you to receive a service but the nature of service you are bound to receive.

If you are in need of medical care from an emergency room therefore, you have to factor in the above mentioned things before going into one. The hour you choose to go to the emergency room, the type of emergency room you visit and your medical condition will directly affect your wait in the emergency room.

You might not be in control of the severity of your medical condition but you have all the control over the choice of the emergency room and the time you choose to visit it. When it comes to choosing the most appropriate emergency room, opt for one which is well-equipped, is well-staffed and has a good reputation. If you are in Texas and are looking for such an emergency room, then look no further than Bellaire Emergency room. We offer quality services at very affordable rates and strive our best to limit the amount of time you have to wait in line.