POSTED: Monday, May 13, 2013 - 7:51pm
UPDATED: Monday, May 20, 2013 - 2:42pm
Fort Bliss, TX (KTSM) — From Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard's weekly commentary, "Thoughts while working out in the gym:"
Emergency Room time standard at WBAMC
Recently, it has come to my attention that our Soldiers and Family members have had to wait a long time to be seen at the WBAMC Emergency Room. I spoke to one Soldier from 3/1 AD last week who stated that he and his wife waited ten hours to be seen at the Emergency Room last week. That is totally unacceptable! In the future, if you wait for more than two hours before you are seen at WBAMC then call your chain of command immediately. Our standard is only a two hour waiting period.
However, part of the problem is that Soldiers and family members are going to the ER rather than their Primary Care clinic. Approximately half the patients seen in the Emergency Room are treated for non-emergent care. If we could limit the WBAMC ER to only Soldiers and Family members with serious emergencies or illnesses, we could significantly reduce the wait time. The Emergency Room is intended for an injury or illness that would endanger or seriously harm a person’s life or health if not treated immediately by a licensed medical professional.
Remember that all patients arriving at the emergency room are triaged. This is a constant assessment to determine who needs care now, and who can wait.
If you do not have a real emergency, you can spend hours waiting as you watch others receive care before you.
Our standard for waiting is 2 hours. I have tasked COL Heimall, our WBAMC commander to enforce our two hour maximum wait time standard.