On a side note, I propose an alternate plan: offer free movie tickets to patients with bogus complaints if they leave. I'm not trying to dissuade patients with actual emergencies or even perceived ones to avoid the ER, simply the "knee pain for the past 10 years" or "my doctor's office won't open until tomorrow morning" or "I need a refill for my allergy prescription" variety. EMTALA aside, wouldn't our health care costs plummet if we simply handed them two free passes to Bride Wars or something like that? It might even save Hollywood from a bailout.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Perhaps to climb up in the Press Ganey rankings, a Virginia network of hospitals recently announced that it will provide written letters of apology and a free movie ticket to patients who were not seen or did not have treatment started within 30 minutes of arrival. During busy nights in the Big City ED, there's no way we could turn over the entire waiting room population and get everyone back in 30 minutes, so I'm curious what "being seen" actually means. Drawing labs and ordering X-rays from triage, which we do? Or having a provider come out, look at a patient, and say "see you in three hours?"