According to a report issued by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), the emergency care system in the United States remains in serious condition, with numerous states facing critical problems. That is the disturbing but unmistakable finding of the 2009 edition of The National Report Card on the State of Emergency Medicine, a report designed to provide the American public with an objective assessment of the emergency care environment across the country.
The American College of Emergency Physicians convened a blue-ribbon task force to produce this second edition of the Report Card. Building upon the 2006 edition, the 2009 Report Card provides a focused, comprehensive look at America’s emergency care system as measured in five categories. The categories consist of 116 objective metrics drawn from the most recent comparable data available from reliable and established sources.
These five categories have been weighted to determine a grade for each state, the District of Columbia, and the nation as a whole:
•· Access to Emergency Care (30%)
•· Quality and Patient Safety Environment (20%)
•· Medical Liability Environment (20%)
•· Public Health and Injury Prevention (15%)
•· Disaster Preparedness (15%)
The report calls for legislation and other reforms to strengthen emergency departments and alleviate overcrowding, and increased funding for disaster preparedness and the health care safety net.
(SOURCE: AHA News Now, http://ahanews.com, December 9, 2008)