Emergency medicine is moving rapidly into the new millennium. Emergency room physicians are looking forward to the new technologies that will bring the prehospital patient to the forefront. EMS providers, such as paramedics, will respond to calls for the sick and injured. However, very few of these patients will receive transport to the emergency room to be evaluated by a physician. They will receive care in the back of the emergency response unit. Ambulances will be equipped with high definition cameras which will send a live feed back to the hospital where the emergency room physician can converse with the patient. The paramedic will perform certain assessments as well as lab values which he or she will report to the attending physician. Depending on the overall health status of the patient, the physician may have patient to follow up with their primary care doctor within 24 to 48 hours. In addition to the follow up, the ER physician has the option to prescribe medications to the patient which will be filled at their local pharmacy. Modern emergency medical equipment that can perform various diagnostic procedures has been placed on these emergency response vehicles. Sonograms, ultrasounds and basic lab panels will be available for the emergency medical responder to utilize. Nevertheless, excellent patient care begins with the core fundamentals of excellent patient assessment skills and techniques. Those individuals who do not perfect the art of the patient assessment will be a liability to the emergency medical service as a whole.
The hospitals in Atlanta Georgia have been extremely over populated. It has not yet determined, if we will have any new facilities built in the upcoming years. Needless to say, our EMS as well as our emergency room staff and facilities have been overextended. The general population as well as the public does not understand the complexity that is associated with providing advanced emergency medicine when it comes to the sick and injured. The costs are relatively high in the insurance premiums that are paid to the hospital are extremely low to say the least. So, how do we bridge this gap as we move on into the new millennium? It makes sense for the emergency medical responder to be equipped with the highest technology equipment in the field of medicine in order to deliver high acuity care. This will enable the emergency room physician to cut down on the number of patients that are being transported to the hospital. In return, this should lower the overall cost of health care for the patient. This concept has been in place for the past 15 years and we are finally seeing it come to fruition. Once everything associated with EMT and the hospital is in place, the healthcare system should see a relief on the emergency room staff.