Do You Practice Proper Emergency Room Etiquette?
The Right and Wrong Time to Utilize Hospital Emergency Rooms
In a report put out by the New England Healthcare Institute (NEHI) research found that in 2007 approximately $700 billion was wasted on unnecessary health care expenses in America. Of this $700 billion, $38 billion was spent due to emergency room overuse.
Emergency department overuse can also cause overcrowding and long waits for persons requiring true emergency care.
To help stop this misuse of hospital emergency departments here are some alternative practices:
- Contact your primary care office or physician and discuss the situation if possible.
- Utilize urgent care facilities or walk-in clinics for non-emergent situations.
- Keep up with preventative care (such as physicals, shots and vaccinations, and annual screenings) to prevent necessity of emergent care.
- Discuss care plans with your doctor and be well educated about any and all of your chronic conditions to reduce chances of requiring emergency care.
UNH’s Health Services is available for UNH students and staff and may be contacted by phone at (603) 862-9355. In the event that Health Services is closed, calling this number and following the after-hours care instructions will connect you to a medical center which may help make suggestions for further care.