Health and Healthcare

America's Largest Emergency Room

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Emergency rooms have become the front door of America’s hospitals. They not only take care of people who are ill or injured. Many people who are admitted to hospitals go to emergency rooms first. They have also been on the front line of one of the largest health crises in US history. Some emergency rooms were overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients in 2020 and 2021.

According to the CDC, there are nearly 140 million visits to American emergency rooms yearly. That is 43 visits per 100 people in the US. Over 18 million people who visit emergency rooms are admitted to hospitals. As a sign of how busy emergency rooms can be, most people wait over two hours to see a physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or physician assistant, the National Center for Health Statistics reports. This is the state with the most doctors. 

Beckers’ research shows that over 50 emergency rooms in the US had more than 80,000 visits in 2022. Of these, 38 had over 100,000 visits last year. Only one, the emergency facility of the Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas, had over 200,000. Its count was 226,178.

The Parkland Health and Hospital System is massive. It had over one million outpatient visits last year. Its staff performed 585,000 radiology exams. They also performed almost six million pathology procedures and filled almost 12 million prescriptions. Its campus is spread across 14 locations. These are the American cities with the most private hospitals. 

Parkland has a major distinction for many Americans. President John F. Kennedy died at its trauma unit after he was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

Large emergency rooms have a large problem. Across the country, they are often overcrowded. This is a more significant problem in emergency rooms that get over 40,000 visits a year. So, Parkland, due to its size, likely has a challenge that will not go away in the foreseeable future.

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