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Baylor Medical Center and Emergency Care Issues

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Baylor Medical Center and Emergency Care Issues

Andrea Watts

Professor Johnson

HSM 420

10 December 2005

Baylor Medical Center and Emergency Care Issues Paper

Description of Organization

Baylor Health Care System is a medical network that services seven counties in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. It is a not-for-profit, faith-based network of hospitals, primary care centers and practices, rehabilitation clinics, senior health centers, affiliated ambulatory surgery centers, and the Baylor Research Institute. According to the 2003 fiscal year statistics, Baylor has “$543.9 million total long-term debt, $2.0 billion total assets $1.7 billion total operating revenue and $180 million in community benefits (Baylor.com).

On an annual basis its emergency rooms treat over 54,800 patients each year (Hoover). In 2004, the total number of patients seen for emergency room visits (combined facilities) was 247,224 (Baylor.com). Baylor has full emergency services available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. “The physicians and staff in the emergency room have years of experience and training” (Baylor.com). According to an article in WebMD, “eighteen people in the U.S. die every hour due to injuries”. In a report published by the Centers for Disease Control, “accidental or unintentional injuries are the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and are responsible for sending one of every three people to the emergency room for treatment” (WebMD).

Constraints and Roadblocks

“The emergency room, like other hospital departments, has undergone radical

transformation in recent years. It has expanded in the services once offered and in complexity” (Williams 57). According to Stephen Williams due to recent changes in healthcare and the number of uninsured and underinsured, medical emergency rooms now treat more individuals for primary care (57). The intent of emergency rooms was to treat only individuals who were in a medical crisis and under distress; not to treat those for preventive services such as a runny nose, or bad cough. Emergency rooms have been routinely misused in the last 20 years or so. “They have been integrated with other community resources such as drug and alcohol treatment centers, mental health centers, and voluntary agencies” (Williams 57). At a time when many hospitals are closing their emergency department down due to over-utilization and staffing issues, Baylor is continuously focused on its ability to service its communities. In most hospital settings the normal emergency visit lasts anywhere from 4-6 hours and many emergency rooms are burdened with a lack of inpatient beds and space. In a general emergency situation

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