Finally, in the news this week, we look at the patient population that we all know is taking up the majority of our ambulance rides to the hospital. I’m obviously talking about senior citizens. in a recent data brief from the CDC they note that recent statistics show emergency departments being visited by half of the nation’s senior citizens in a given year. These patients, age 65 and older are taking up a huge percentage of our emergency care resources.

More Seniors, More ER Visits

elderly-man_smAccording to data from the CDC article ,the number of senior citizens rose from 2000 to 2010 15% from 35 million to 40.3 million. By the year 2010, these people represented 13% of the nation’s population. The article also points out that 29% of the emergency department visits for people 65 and older were related to injuries and not merely medical conditions.

It’s important to note that this shows that are local ERs are becoming an increasing point of access to care for this population. I have to wonder, though, if some of the new community Paramedic and mobile integrated health care programs might have some impact on these numbers in their communities. It is an interesting case and one that I think bears reviewing in those communities that implement these types of programs.

I will continue to look into things like this and bring you the data because I firmly believe that these integrated healthcare models or, if you prefer, community Paramedic models are significant factors in lowering the number of patients who visit our local ERs. What do you think? I hope you’ll shoot me an email with your comments or questions about this or any of the news items this week. Remember you can reach me here at the MedicCast at podmedic@mac.com. I will get back to you and maybe even share your comments on a future episode.

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Follow-up on the link for this and other news items as well as all of the additional resource links in the show notes for this episode – EMS World Expo’s Scott Cravens and Episode 358.

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