Emergency Care Is Failing Many Patients

emergencycareCalifornia moved into the top half of the nation for emergency room care with a rank of 23rd and a grade of C-. The 2014 American College of Emergency Physicians’ report card still ranked the state near the bottom of the country at 42nd with an F in the category of access to emergency care, the same grade it received in 2009. In 2009, California received a D+ and ranked 37th in the nation.

The state has the lowest number of emergency departments per person and an inadequate number of hospital beds, as well as shortages of orthopedists, hand surgeons, and registered nurses. Nearly one-quarter of adults in California lack health insurance. To improve its grade, California must  increase the health care workforce and expand the supply of emergency departments and staffed inpatient and psychiatric beds, according to the Report Card.

The state received C-’s in patient safety and disaster preparedness. California lacks a statewide trauma registry and a uniform system for providing pre-arrival instructions. The state needs to implement statewide systems and procedures to ensure that all citizens are protected in the event of a disaster.

California’s C+ in medical liability could be improved with pretrial screening panels to discourage frivolous lawsuits. The state’s best grade, a B+ for public health and injury prevention, was due to low rates of smoking and obesity, strong seat belt and safety belt legislation, and outstanding trauma care located within 60 minutes of nearly everyone in the state. For more information visithttp://www.acep.org.

Last Updated 12/02/2020

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