Emergency Room Overcrowding And Emergency Rooms

1172 Words Apr 10th, 2016 5 Pages
Approximately half of a million Americans are homeless, living in shelters or on the streets at any one time (Galea & Vlahov, 2002). The homeless population utilizes the emergency room to gain access to, primary care, nutritional, pharmaceutical and basic needs with non-medical issues is a contributing factor to emergency room overcrowding. The non-medical can primary care component needs to be moved out of the acute care setting of the emergency room but still readily accessible to the homeless clients. Living without adequate housing can increase a person’s morbidity and mortality which will increase the needs of a patient’s visit to the emergency room (Montgomery, Dichter, Thomasson, Roberts & Byrne, 2015). These patients can have complex issues that are not always obvious and can be clouded in the effort to seek services that are not intended for the emergency room. These patients also utilize the emergency room for non-medical issues for ease of access to items such as food, shelter, medication refills and showering. They know that their visit to the emergency room with any medical complaint that will automatically ensure they receive food, shelter and other services. These patients may come to the emergency room with a medical complaint but have different needs than a regular patient (Forchuk, Reiss, Mitchell, Ewen & Meier, 2015). These patients are not having a medical crisis; they just need a break from their environment. The homeless population who…
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