Submitted By tenzi
A community assessment of the Frogtown and Summit communities along the University street corridor revealed several health disparities and flawed processes in the way care is delivered to these populations. One of the most pervasive problems is not accessing the correct level of health care when illness, injury or disease occurs. There are many factors for this occurrence. These include a lack of awareness, different cultural norms about health, language barriers and an ineffective or absent health care triage system. The identified problem is knowledge deficit of accessing appropriate health care related lack of knowledge related to accessing proper level of health care as evidenced by inappropriate use of emergency services for non emergent care needs.
Background and context
Four intrepid nursing students from St Catherine University undertook a community assessment of University Avenue from Snelling Avenue east to the capitol buildings otherwise known as Frog Town.
Conversations occurred with stakeholders including paramedics and local citizens at a Salvation Army. One disturbing trend that was identified is the use of emergency medical services and emergency rooms for routine care needs such as stomach flu. This occurs and is reinforced for several reasons. One of these is the 1986 legislation EMTALA that enforces that all hospitals must see and treat everyone regardless of their ability to pay. This is an unfunded mandate which means no reimbursement is provided shifting the cost onto society in the forms of increased cost for other services. According to Consumer Health Reports, the average cost of an ER visit is $1300 (2009). While the ER provides for a catch all safety net it does not provide timely effective and appropriate care to citizens.
Since all emergency calls must be responded to, the individual who may need emergency…...