Emergency Physicians Are Slaves to Highway Billboards Print
Written by Sandra Scott Simons, MD | KevinMD   
Monday, 06 March 2017 00:00

"Mom, that's a little unreasonable," piped up my 9-year-old from the backseat as we drove by an ER billboard that prominently displayed an average wait time of four minutes. "That would be stressful, seeing everyone that fast." Even my kids understand how absurd some of today's time metrics are. "Hospitals probably make more money showing shorter wait times on a billboard because people want to go there because it's faster," he concluded. Out of the mouths of babes.

EPs are never more stressed about time than when we're in the ED, where every move is timed, tracked, and reported to the guys in suits to make us move even faster (as if we are sitting around eating bonbons). Each time we meet their time metric for door-to-physician greet, they lower it again.

I had a rare slow shift recently, and two patients complimented my bedside manner, and a third asked me to be her doctor. Sadly, this isn't the norm because I'm usually too rushed to establish rapport.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 March 2017 19:07