Emergency room visits at Doctors Hospital of Manteca are on pace to reach 33,000 this year.
That is on the heels of a 17 percent increase in visits in 2014 that occurred with a relatively small increase in waiting time.
And while Doctors Hospital has taken steps to shorten wait times by deploying the InQuicker system that can be accessed via apps or computers and manage cases as efficiently as possible, the hospital wants to make service even more effective.
Doctors Hospital CEO Ikenna “Ike” Mmeje noted improving the ER experience is something the hospital continues to look at.
And while the effort is in the initial stages Mmeje noted all options will be explored including an off-site urgent care style facility.
Much of the increased ER traffic can be attributed to the Affordable Care Act and California’s decision to expand Medi-Cal coverage. More people have insurance but there aren’t more doctors. And while some Manteca area physicians aren’t taking new patients even if they have insurance or pay cash, none are taking Medi-Cal patients.
As a result the ER has become their de facto “primary physician.”
The situation is not unique to Manteca.
The hospital already has in place procedures that make sure ER patients that need immediate attention due to the severity of their situation are seen quicker.
At the same time they are working to reduce wait times in the ER by the InQuicker system that allows patients to “sign in” that do not have a high priority medical need from the comfort of their home. They are assigned a time that is updated in the event unexpected pressing emergencies come in.
The system keeps patients from other patients that are sick and allows them to wait at home.
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