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Saturday, October 3, 2009

ER assessments no good in court of law

The ER Doctor on tonight had a good point. He told me that gone are the days you can go to the emergency room with a headache, get a pill for your aches, and be sent home. Gone are the days when you can simply examine a patient, know what's wrong, and treat the patient.

He said, "Emergency Room patient assessments are basically useless now in a court of law. If you assess the patient, you have to have the test to back it up."

It's true. When my daughter is having trouble with her asthma I take her to the doctor's office, where she is given a breathing treatment, a few prescriptions, and sent home with me. Quite frankly, this is the ideal approach to medicine -- the common sense approach.

If I were to take her to the ER, even though the ER doctor is as smart as the pediatrician in the office and knows what's wrong with my daughter, he would also have to order a blood draw and x-ray at a minimum. My daughter might also end up with an I.V. or heplock for no reason.

So if you want to know why healthcare is so expensive, now you know. The cure for this is tort reform.

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