Public Hospitals to Pilot System to Prioritize Patients at Emergency Rooms
To increase emergency room efficiency, six city level hospitals will pilot a prioritizing treatment system starting October 1. The system will examine patient’s situations and will classify them into four degrees of severity. Priority will then be given to the patient with the most sever conditions.
Patients suffering from minor ailments could spend up to four hours before getting treatment in emergency rooms at public hospitals and since the city public hospitals are not allowed to reject patients, crowding at emergency rooms usually happens. The six hospitals that will pilot the prioritizing system are Shenzhen No. 2 People’s Hospital, Shenzhen People’s Hospital, Shenzhen Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, Shenzhen No. 3 People’s Hospital, University of Hong Kong Shenzhen Hospital and Peking University Shenzhen Hospital.
Most patients coming in are suffering from minor problems and don’t have the time to see a doctor during the day so they plan their visit to emergency rooms at night. Shenzhen People’s Hospital showed nearly 30 percent of the patients in their emergency department are not facing any medical emergency while Peking University Hospital also reported the same results.
When the emergency departments first opened they mainly deal with patients with sudden ailments and injuries from accidents. One doctor said that there was a time a woman came in and asked the doctors to assist her in injecting lamb placenta extract, but she was refused and made a scene by shouting at the staff and complaining to the health department.
Emergency rooms in Hong Kong treat patients suffering from serious ailments first. Patients with minor problems usually have to wait much longer. The prioritized system has four degrees of severity namely very dangerous, dangerous, emergent and non emergent.