People's Forum: Elkhart General Hospital Emergecy department provides care for all
Dr. David Van Ryn writes about the emergency department.
Posted on Dec. 23, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
| Updated on Dec. 23, 2013 at 6:49 p.m.
I was dismayed at the Dec. 15 article in the Elkhart Truth lauding the opening of the new urgent care center on Johnson Street (“New urgent care clinic opening in Elkhart”). It appeared to amount to free advertising for the new entity. This seems odd for an entity not based in Elkhart or even in Indiana. As a foreign entity, it has no relationships with local providers and therefore presents an interruption in the continuum of care between patients and their physicians that most health care reform experts advocate.
In particular your comments in the fourth paragraph about “long waiting times associated with emergency room visits” are disturbing. In fact the ED at Elkhart General Hospital has industry leading TAT’s and over 80 percent of our patients are seen and treated within 15 minutes of arrival. In addition, an ED visit at EGH will provide direct access to the many nationally recognized expert physicians on staff and direct communication to most of the local providers in the Elkhart community for continuation of care.
The ED functions a bit like a public utility — we are the “light that is always on” every day of the year, including nights, weekends and holidays. We see and treat every patient who comes here, regardless of their ability to pay. I did not see any mention in the article of the willingness of this new entity to treat “self pay” or Medicaid patients. If past experience serves as a guide, they won’t.
Elkhart General’s ED has been an integral and growing part of the Elkhart community for more than 100 years. We are proud of the expertise we offer and the excellent service we provide. It would be nice to see some recognition of these efforts and services as well.
David E. Van Ryn, M.D.