When are people most likely to go to the Emergency Room?
Dr. Kaplan and I asked the leadership of the NYPQ Emergency Department this exact question. You might have thought that people who are not feeling well go to the emergency room in the middle of the night. If that is the case physicians would find that a difficult need to meet. However, we learned that the community practice doesn’t need to extend hours past midnight – far from it. The answer came quickly and unequivocally: between the hours of 5pm and 7pm. Dr Sharma and his team knew the answer without hesitation because they are all too familiar with the pattern of people seeking help just after their physicians’ offices have closed for the day.
Why should patients avoid the emergency room? Is there a more appropriate option?
Increasingly, medical practices are making themselves more available to help their patients lead healthier lives, use resources more mindfully and create the condition for better outcomes. The emergency department serves a vital role for the unexpected health problem. For the cancer patient who has an established relationship with their oncologist and for whom many of the side effects or complications of treatment are anticipated, the emergency department is not the first choice. Patient’s benefit from consistency with their care team who are familiar with the nuances of their case. The emergency room is expensive! Typical co-pays for emergency department treatment are 5 or 6 times higher than that for an office visit. If care can be rendered in the physician’s office, it’s more likely to be on-target and less costly. Over time, studies will show if it also results in better outcomes.
To this end, QMA has expanded its office hours until 7pm weekday evenings. Our phone are turned on and our nurses and physician assistants are the first line in answering questions, getting patients seen and back on track quickly. We ask patients to CONTACT US FIRST when they have a health concern or question as we can frequently handle side-effects and complications of cancer care in our more comfortable, familiar and convenient setting.
If you would like to learn more contact Jenny Lee, Front Desk Supervisor at 718-460-2300 ext. 3536Leave a reply