A  A  A   Print
As U.S. Population Ages, ER Visits Will Lengthen

As U.S. Population Ages, ER Visits Will Lengthen

MONDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- While the number of visits to emergency rooms will not rise due to United States' aging population, ER visits will last longer and there will be an increase in hospitalizations between now and 2050, according to a new study.

"With U.S. emergency care characterized as 'at the breaking point,' we wanted to study how the aging of the U.S. population would affect the demand for emergency department services and hospitalizations in the coming decades," lead author Dr. Daniel Pallin, director of research in the department of emergency medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, said in a hospital news release.

The researchers were surprised to find their analysis showed that the number of ER visits would increase at the same rate -- not higher -- as the population increased. However, the length of time that patients spend in ERs will rise 10 percent faster than population growth, and hospital admissions from the ER will rise 23 percent faster.

"Our analysis predicts that the total amount of time spent by patients in [emergency departments] across the country will increase 1.1 times faster than population growth as the population ages," Pallin said. "This means that the United States will need 10 percent more ED resources per capita than available today."

He added that with ER visits and the number of hospitalizations expected to increase, the process of moving patients from the ER into the hospital needs to be as efficient as possible.

The study appears in the July issue of the journal Health Affairs.

More information

The American College of Emergency Physicians explains when you should go to the emergency department.

SOURCE: Brigham and Women's Hospital, news release, July 8, 2013

Today's Interactive Tools
Related Items

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.