Overcrowded emergency rooms pose problem - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Overcrowded emergency rooms pose problem

By Philippe Djegal - email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - If you do not have a primary care physician, then get one. That's because a visit to the emergency room can be costly and now, not just with money.

"I think ER overcrowding is an issue across the United States," said John Moore, with Mother Francis Hospital.

"Getting through the whole process of making the diagnosis and doing the tests - that can take 2.5, 3 sometimes 4 hours," said Art Chance, with East Texas Medical Center.

And, depending on the time of the year, ER overcrowding can be in an issue in East Texas as well. In 2004, Trinity Mother Frances in Tyler saw more than 52,000 visits to the emergency room.

"This last year it was over 67,000," said Moore. "So, we are seeing an increase."

"We are very busy," said Chance.

Vice-president of Operations at ETMC in Tyler, Art Chance, says patients are flowing into the ER.

"Our ER volumes have increased," said Chance. "Just in the last 12 months we've increase 2.4% in our ER volumes. We have well over 70,000 visits a year with our two ER campuses here."

Both hospitals credit the increase in visits to an increase in population. In 2004, the population in Smith County was just over 186,000 people. Today, that number has increased 7.5%, to more than 201,000 people. And, most of those people are over 50. And, with age, comes more need for medical care.

"And, cost is also a factor for some people," said Moore. "They don't have the money. So, they go to the emergency room."

But, hospital officials say the ER can end up costing hundreds of dollars more than the expense of visiting a primary care physician. That's because the physicians in the ER are specialty doctors, and you have to pay for the x-rays, the IV's and the cost to run the facility.

"If you're that sensitive and it's an emergency - and, you feel like it's an emergency - you should come," said Chance. "It's always better to err on the safe side and come."

But, if it can wait, then wait and it will probably save you some money. Officials said hospitals offer direct care facilities throughout East Texas for non-emergency medical needs.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Power of Prayer: Good Samaritan couple survives roadside crash

    Power of Prayer: Good Samaritan couple survives roadside crash

    Monday, July 16 2018 1:54 AM EDT2018-07-16 05:54:09 GMT

    After a violent roadside crash, an East Texas couple is dedicating their lives to restoring others' relationships with God.

    More >>

    After a violent roadside crash, an East Texas couple is dedicating their lives to restoring others' relationships with God.

    More >>
  • Burn ban leaves residents with large piles of trash and brush in their yards

    Burn ban leaves residents with large piles of trash and brush in their yards

    Sunday, July 15 2018 10:13 PM EDT2018-07-16 02:13:43 GMT

    With the burn ban in effect in Henderson County, residents are stuck with piles and piles of garbage and unwanted brush in their yards...

    More >>

    With the burn ban in effect in Henderson County, residents are stuck with piles and piles of garbage and unwanted brush in their yards...

    More >>
  • TxDOT seeking public comment about South Broadway changes

    TxDOT seeking public comment about South Broadway changes

    Sunday, July 15 2018 9:32 PM EDT2018-07-16 01:32:17 GMT
    The Texas Department of Transportation is looking to help make traveling easier for travelers in Tyler. Street lights and traffic, that’s how some Tyler residents would describe South Broadway. “The congestion starts at about the toll road and it’s pretty heavily congested and goes most days to the Loop 323,” Tyler native Jerry Waldrup said. In 2017, South Broadway from Loop 323 to Toll 49 was ranked the 67th most congested roadway in Texas. Now TxDOT is con...More >>
    The Texas Department of Transportation is looking to help make traveling easier for travelers in Tyler. Street lights and traffic, that’s how some Tyler residents would describe South Broadway. “The congestion starts at about the toll road and it’s pretty heavily congested and goes most days to the Loop 323,” Tyler native Jerry Waldrup said. In 2017, South Broadway from Loop 323 to Toll 49 was ranked the 67th most congested roadway in Texas. Now TxDOT is con...More >>
Powered by Frankly