Fudging numbers to please the pencil pushers. The NHS in Great Britain has a goal that no one waits to be treated in “casualty departments” (better than calling them “emergency rooms“, I guess) for more than 4 hours. According to the records, a “vast majority” of patients are seen within 3 hours.
Data collected from other sources shows that patients are often moved out of the departments and into other units prior to evaluation which stops the “four hour clock” from ticking. For example, some patients are put in “emergency assessment units” where the average wait is 17 hours and some patients are put in “medical assessment units” where the average wait is 22 hours.
A representative quote from the article: “Labour’s insistence on forcing doctors to focus on ticking boxes ahead of looking after patients means that more time is spent on devising elaborate schemes to satisfy the bureaucrats rather than making sure unwell patients get better.”
Quick care, quality care, free care. Pick any two.
In other news, as a result of this story, JCAHO is now requiring that hospitals close their emergency departments as a patient safety measure.
Paging Dr. Cheech. Paging Dr. Chong. Emergency physician testifies in Pennsylvania about the medicinal use of marijuana. From an emergency physician’s perspective??? Yeah, I see patients in emergent need of a bong hit just about every shift I do [eye roll].