Understaffed EDs: The Major Issues They Face

Emergency department sign

The emergency department (ED) is arguably the busiest environment within the medical and healthcare industry, and for many good reasons. First, it is the bridge between inpatient and outpatient care, as it determines which cases need hospitalization and referral to specialists, as well as those that are not categorized as urgent or emergency situations. It also serves as the area where acute care services are decided, with almost a third of all acute care visits in the country commencing in the ED.

With all these responsibilities, it should no longer come as a surprise that this specific healthcare sector commonly experiences staffing problems, the greatest concern of which is a shortage of medical personnel. Companies like Emergency Staffing Solutions offer emergency medicine staffing for medical facilities.

The real cost of understaffed EDs

Shortage of emergency medical and healthcare professionals creates numerous hazards, not just for the patients, but also for the staff members. Imbalances in patient-to-doctor ratios can force physicians and their team to limit the time they meet with every patient, which can then result in possible misdiagnosis. The healthcare team, on the other hand, can also suffer because of the pressure and strain of handling too many patients in a given day.

Addressing the shortage right away

Under staffing gives rise to major potential problems, especially the possibilities of neglect, misdiagnosis, or other medical malpractice issues. So it’s crucial for emergency departments to address their shortages as soon as possible. The good news is, there are several ways to improve the performance of EDs, one of which is to work with an emergency medicine staffing service to fill the gaps that high patient volumes create.

Through ensuring that these healthcare environments always have adequately numbered healthcare teams, emergency services can improve the safety and quality of the care they deliver. When they achieve this goal, they can then make certain that every visitor, whether in-patient or out-patient, would receive the care they deserve and need promptly.