Does Emergency Care Have A Place In the American Health System?

Does Emergency Care Have A Place In the American Health System?

The emergency care center, also known as an emergency room (ER) or department (ED) is a long-standing component of the American health care system. However, its emergence as a modern entity dates back only to the 1960s. Until then, cities such as Salt Lake City had insufficient and antiquated equipment; few qualified staff and went unsupervised. This has undergone a major change. Yet, today, with facilities such as urgent care units, people are questioning whether EDs have a role in the health care system.


Salt Lake City EDs provide a highly effective means of treating urgent and serious health issues. While they still provide care for those with non-life threatening problems and handle ambulatory patients daily, their focus is on treating those with life-threatening conditions. To address this, they have an extraordinary range of equipment and staff. The most modern possess the latest technology including imaging, therapeutic and other diagnostic equipment. They also have access to a wide range of specialists. This makes an emergency care center one of the most comprehensive medical facilities available to everyone. In common terms, an ED provides one-stop medical care shopping.

The Emergency Care Center: Relevancy

Although the focus is on emergency care, EDs continue to attract those with less serious conditions. This results from their purpose. They exist to provide medical care to everyone – regardless of their social status, financial well-being, medical insurance status, and condition. However, the negative offshoot of this everything-to-everyone quality is the current state of overcrowding.

EDs are in high demand in certain areas and among many different people. They often are the last resort for a segment of America’s non-insured population. Yet, even doctors in Salt Lake City refer patients to an emergency care center during vacation time. The stress on the system, while it may reduce the profile and increase wait times, does not deflect from the very real need for emergency care centers in the American medical system.

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