Dr. Eric Forsthoefel: Non-Emergent Care Stretching Resources in Emergency Department to the Limit

Recent research studies indicate that there has been an abuse of emergency departments by patients who need to be attended for illnesses that are not considered emergent. You will find that a patient is choosing and even insisting on being treated in the emergency section which is not something that has not been requested by the doctor. This is such a severe case because it leads to a scenario where doctors are powerless in deciding who should be treated in the emergency room and who should not. In fact, it has watered down on why emergency rooms are set out in the hospitals.

Dr. Eric Forsthoefel, an emergency physician in one of the healthcare facilities in Florida, expounded very much on the fact that many non-urgent cases are currently being treated as urgent cases by various hospitals in Florida as well as in the United States in general. In an interview, Dr. Eric Forsthoefel noted that the trend seems to be increasing and it will lead to a situation wherein will be challenging to understand the patient with urgent needs and those that want to be prioritized and given medical attention in the emergency room.

Dr. Eric Forsthoefel notes that non-urgent medical cases have been increasing and the frequency is not expected to stop concerning his findings. He goes further to highlight that it has been a trend that dates back to 1990 where people considered their health cases to be treated as urgent while in a real sense nothing is compelling. His findings correspond with other research studies done earlier which suggested that people, without justifiable reasons, want their health challenges to be treated as critical by the medical practitioners. Several media houses have also reported the case which seems to be gaining traction as days goes.

Dr. Eric Forsthoefel notes that there hasn’t been enough primary care, which causes individuals to push their medical conditions to be urgent which they are not. Although these actions divide opinion, professionals working in the urgent department such as nurses, technicians, and physicians have no right or authority to determine who gets the services in the emergency department. As professionals, they are obligated to offer the patient the necessary services that he or she may require. It is the duty of the people working in the emergency department to provide quality health services to any person who is brought to their department.

However, the question of one needing emergency care is not an issue but the resources available to deal with the increasing number of people who need non-urgent cases to be treated as an emergency. The resources available in the healthcare facilities are only meant to help and cater for only those people with real emergency cases. Therefore, the limited resources are stretched to the limit causing patients in need of emergency medical services to experience challenges. The staff, time, and resources that have been set aside to assist people in acute need of emergency treatment are used to treat non-emergent cases which raises the questions of our overall health priorities.