BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Emergency Department has been so busy this week that patients have been placed on beds in hallways while others have waited for hours in the waiting room to be seen.
The hospital itself has been so busy that doctors throughout the region have been informed that no “direct admits” were permitted — meaning doctors could not admit patients to the hospital without first going through the emergency department.
While not optimal, hospital spokesman Thomas Chakurda told BocaNewsNow.com via email that the hospital is so busy because the hospital is no longer thought of a small community facility.
“We are in the height of season and more significantly, people in the region are turning to us for care in ever-increasing numbers,” wrote Chakurda. “We are just 8 months into our fiscal year but have already seen admissions rise by about 1000 over the corresponding time frame last year. That’s a ten percent increase in utilization. In our new ED (emergency department), we have grown from 35,000 visits a year to 50,000 in the past several years, all while seeing patient satisfaction in the 98-99 percentiles nationally.”
ER patients are always triaged, meaning true emergencies are seen immediately. But for patients using the ER for routine care, the wait may be lengthy.
“There are times when we do not have beds available immediately for admits through the ED,” said Chakurda. “These patients are maintained and cared for in an area until a bed opens. We have put into place protocols to expedite the process, but again, the significant increase in utilization we are seeing can tax the system at times.”
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