Emergency Care
8:52 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Connecticut's Emergency Rooms Earn a C Grade in New Study

Credit Stockbyte / Stockbyte / Thinkstock

A new study of emergency medicine ranks Connecticut 15th overall. One of the biggest concerns is wait time.

The study, by the American College of Emergency Physicians, gives Connecticut an average grade of C, saying the state has a low rate of fatal injury and its residents have generally good health. 

"Having insurance doesn't mean access to care; it means access to chair. In the waiting room."
David John

But there's bad news. The wait for emergency care is the sixth longest in the country, due in part to the relatively low number of emergency rooms in the state.

David John, co-chair of emergency medicine at Johnson Memorial Medical Center, said, "I just actually heard an interesting quote. Having insurance doesn't mean access to care; it means access to chair. In the waiting room."

John said part of the problem is a shortage of beds outside of the emergency room, and a shortage of specialty doctors. "We have a very low number of inpatient beds relative to our population in Connecticut," he said, "a very low number of mental health beds in Connecticut, which tie up ED beds that could normally be taken care of in a disaster. But we have people sitting here that are suicidal for days at a time because there are no mental health beds. It all kinds of adds up to decreasing our efficiency."

The state also got low grades for disaster preparedness and medical liability. The latter is because of higher than average malpractice insurance premiums for doctors.

Read more of the report at emreportcard.org.