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ER scheduling programs help to handle the influx of patients during the busy holiday season

Posted on 12/28/2016 by Elizabeth in category: scheduling software articles
Emergency rooms see an increase in patients across the United States around the holidays. The celebrations and festivities during the season contribute to the rise of accidental injuries, illness, and other health-related problems.

In fact, according to Tiama Friend, MD, an ER physician at The Lakes at Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center, there is around a 20 percent influx in visits to the ER during the winter months. The ER is typically packed with patients on Christmas Day.

Because of this influx, the need for more doctors and staff is imperative. To handle this demand, as a scheduling manager, you have to shift schedules around accordingly. This can become very tedious. However, with ER scheduling programs, the task can be simplified.

Reasons for the Influx of ER Patients

Although the holidays are identifiable with family, food, and celebration, ER departments worldwide are experiencing an influx of ER visits for many reasons and the need for physician scheduling becomes even more important. A few reasons for the influx include:

Overeating and Drinking Too Much

Many patients wind up in the emergency room because of overeating. Chest pains are a common complaint as well as hyperglycemia and hypertension. Enjoying those couple extra glasses of wine or an extra plate of food is a common behavior among people during the holidays, however, it can also take a toll on their health.

Food Poisoning

Another culprit of ER room visits is food poisoning. Foodborne illnesses can arise due to improper food handling or ill-prepared meals. Food is often left out too long after the meal is over and can cause bacteria to grow in left overs. Although food poisoning in itself doesn't always cause people to visit the ER, it can cause dehydration which requires treatment. By having a good emergency medicine scheduling system in place, you can ensure you are staffed adequately to handle this increase in visits.

The Flu

With the winter holiday, also comes the flu. The stress of the holidays alone can weaken people's immune systems and when people are sharing hugs and handshakes during a holiday party, germs fester and allow the flu to spread. In many cases, guests are flying in from out-of-state cooped up in a plane filled with hundreds of passengers who are potentially carrying germs which makes catching the flu highly probable.

If these reasons were not enough, add in seasonal injuries from drunk drivers and accidental injuries and your emergency room is bound to fill up quickly. You need to be prepared to accommodate this influx in patients. The best way to do that is to ensure you have a strong schedule system in place. Shift scheduling software can not only help with this, but it can also decrease wait times for your patients and handle the large patient volume you can almost expect to receive this holiday season.

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