Local News

CDC: Annual Emergency Room Visits Top 100 Million

Posted June 25, 2001

— The government says Americans are giving hospital emergency rooms a lot more traffic.

Health researchers say people logged 103 million visits to ERs in 1999. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that is 14 percent more than in 1992.

C.D.C. says hospitals took on 35,000 more patients a day in the 1990s. C.D.C. attributes the increase to an aging population and overall population growth.

Stomach pain, chest pain and fever were the most common reasons for E.R. visits. But adverse reactions to drugs and other complications from medical care were up 80 percent from 1992.

Patients waited an average of 49 minutes to see a doctor in 1999. But C.D.C. cautions that the waits varied considerably by hospital.

Raleigh Community Hospital has a new way to improve efficiency in its Emergency Department. It is the Nurse Communication Module.

All staff members in the department, including doctors and nurses, wear a small locator device that device tracks each person's whereabouts on a computer, to make it easier to find them. The locators also allow a nurse or doctor to press a button if they need help.

The system is being installed as part of Raleigh Community Hospital's expansion of its Emergency Department. That expansion should be completed this fall.


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