You know, you can say what you like about the U. S. medical system and other countries’ socialized medicine is good or bad. I’m not going to have that argument with you here. But, I do like the fact that EMS is part of their healthcare services and are included in decision-making on how healthcare is provided in those areas.
EMS as Part of Unified Health System
In our system, EMS gets under-recognized or unrecognized in looking at how to make the system better. In this article from Canada, they are looking at the city of Greater Sudbury and the fact that they have ambulances stacking up in their emergency department.
That happens everywhere, right? Well what they’re doing there, because they are part of a unified health care system in their area, they are looking at the fact that this costs them tons of extra overtime. Paramedics stuck taking care of patients while at the hospital when they could be back on the street running the additional calls, or getting home and getting off shift, getting food breaks, or whatever the case may be. The fact is, they’re tied up at the hospital and not doing what they’re supposed to be doing.
Extra Nurses Help Offload EMS Patients
What they’ve done here is actually go ahead and hire nurses specifically for this job. These nurses are called off-load delay nurses and they’re nurses that have been hired specifically to go and work in the emergency department to make sure that the ambulances turnover patient’s right away and can get right back out the door.
How nice would that be? I mean, seriously!
I wish that there could be something like this here in the United States, but because EMS is not part of a unified health care system in most areas, when you get to the hospital they don’t care if you have to spend some overtime hours to watch patients because they’re understaffed in the ER. It makes no difference to the hospital in most areas. You know the nurses feel bad for you but ultimately they’re just as overworked.
This is an indication of why EMS should be more closely tied to health care in each of our regions. That way when a problem comes up that is not utilizing resources effectively enough, there’s a way to look at the additional costs and look at ways to alleviate those additional costs.
Audience Comments Always Welcome
I welcome your comments on this. This is an issue we all deal with. How we can we avoid being stacked up and waiting for nurses to take our reports and get our patients off our backs. This is a big issue so I look forward to hearing your comments on this. Remember to send in those e-mails. That e-mail address I gave you is Podmedic@Mac.com. Let me know what you think and how you would use a program like this. It sounds like a great idea.
Catch this news item and more in this week’s episode of the MedicCast – Serotonin Syndrome and MedicCast Episode 296.