Remember who the ED is really designed for
Regarding “Better ED efficiency a win-win in changing healthcare environment” (ModernHealthcare.com, Aug. 7), better communication is always a good thing, but these performance improvements are hardly innovative. What is innovative is making sure that emergency department patients require emergent care, and if not, to provide them with real-time alternatives. For that to happen, Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act medical screening must happen before the patient crosses the ED threshold.
If the patient doesn’t require emergent care, innovative organizations are able to redirect patients to more appropriate venues on their campus, in hospital- owned practices or community clinics. The ED must be reserved for emergent patients. Using high-cost ED services for care more appropriately delivered by a primary-care physician does not make good clinical or business sense.
Stefani Daniels Managing partner Phoenix Medical Management Pompano Beach, Fla.