ERS our ‘last best hope’
The cover story “One-stop shop for care” (May 27, p. 6) reflects a growing trend in community hospitals. Our hospital is also confronting a fundamental problem of emergency rooms becoming a reservoir for patients who find it increasingly more difficult to find primary-care access and/or are unable to afford the long American tradition of a family practice physician.
This trend will only increase as economic demands make the hospital emergency room the last social safety net in caring for patients in communities across America. Along with the rising tide of mental health issues, social violence, an aging population and increasing numbers of uninsured, the community emergency department has become society’s last best hope.
Ed Piper President and CEO Onslow Memorial Hospital Jacksonville, N.C.