Dr. Eric Forsthoefel works in an emergency room in Tallahassee, Florida, as a physician who is a certified practitioner and specialist in emergency medicine. He has six years of emergency room experience dealing with various emergent situations which include fractures, cardiac issues, cuts, acute illnesses, and different types of traumas. Dr. Forsthoefel has had extensive education and training in emergency medicine, earning a certificate in emergency medicine from the American Board of Emergency Medicine after procuring medical licenses from the states of Louisiana and Florida. The substantial credentials he acquired in emergency medicine prepared him to successfully deal with any type of emergent case that he has encountered in the emergency room.
Dr. Eric Forsthoefel has come in contact with thousands of patients that have entered the emergency room where he practices, so he is familiar with their circumstances and the level of treatment that they require. As a result, he has noticed a growing trend in the healthcare industry which has manifested into overuse of emergency rooms for non-emergency medical matters. The overuse of emergency rooms isn’t only happening in Florida; it is happening all over the country. A study conducted in 2016 had shown that approximately 33 percent of all Americans go to the emergency rooms when they need medical care for non-emergent issues.
Dr. Eric Forsthoefel believes this trend of overusing emergency rooms for non-emergent medical treatment derives from the fact that many patients don’t have primary medical care, or they may have primary medical care but don’t want to go through the long waiting period for an appointment to see a physician. So to get medical care quickly, their solution is to go to the emergency room. Dr. Forsthoefel states that no matter if the patient’s medical issue is urgent or not, it is the ER staff’s responsibility to give all patients the best care possible and provide everything that all patients need.
Consequently, the growing number of non-emergent patients going to the ERs for medical treatment is exhausting the limited emergency room staff and the resources, which are needed for the emergent patients that require immediate medical care and observation by the personnel. Giving the best medical care to both non-emergent and emergent patients is a challenge for emergency room staff because they are trying to maintain efficiency and patient flow, but it is becoming more difficult for them as the situation is growing increasingly worse, so they are having a hard time trying to keep up.
Several studies have been administered to discover the cause of this specific problem since the early 1990s, to find out what motivates people to seek non-urgent medical care in emergency rooms. Dr. Eric Forsthoefel’s beliefs that patients don’t have access to primary medical care is supported by some of the evidence found in these studies. Insurance companies and researchers are diligently working to come up with a solution to help decrease the number of patients who have non-urgent medical issues from using the emergency rooms, but there doesn’t seem to be an obvious or straightforward resolution.