D+ Health Care Environment - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

D+ Health Care Environment

Earlier this month, the American College of Emergency Physicians gave each state a report card on their emergency care environment.  The study was about how each state's environment affects their emergency healthcare.

Texas did not do very well. Texas received a D+ plus overall and F's in three out of five categories.  One of the failing grades came in Access to Emergency Care.  The report states Texas has one of the worst rates of health insurance for adults and children.  Doctor John Hilmi, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at United Regional, said it is very alarming that a lot people don't have proper medical insurance.

Texas didn't only receive an F in Access to Emergency Care based on health insurance rates. The state's population has been growing and medical centers haven't been able to keep up.  However, United Regional has not had that problem.

"If you look at the population of Wichita Falls it's been fairly steady state for quite a while, but we've been very proactive. We've recruited 7 emergency care physicians over the last four years. We are fully staffed, which is what a lot of emergency rooms cannot say," said Dr. Hilmi.

Even if a hospital's emergency rooms are great, patients still have to get there to be treated.  Texas scored an F for Quality and Patient Safety, which includes emergency medical services.  Most EMS have a very large area to cover.  United Regional coverage area extends 75 miles from the hospital.

"If it is a major a car accident or something like that. They will helicopter the patient into [United Regional]," said Dr. Hilmi.

The improvements to EMS doesn't end there.  Dr. Hilmi said they have the technology to send and electrocardiogram from the patient in the field to the hospital.  This allows the hospital to prep for the patient before they actually arrive.  It also allows the hospital to treat the patient even faster.

Texas also scored an F in Public Health and Injury Prevent and in Quality and Patient Safety.  However, Texas didn't fail at everything. It scored an A in Medical Liability and a C in Disaster Preparedness.  All of the registered nurses at United Regional receive disaster training in their specific field.  To see the complete report click here.

James Parish, Newschannel 6


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