Governor Vetoes Legislation To Reduce ER Crowding

SB 336 would have implemented a statewide plan to reduce the growing crisis of ER overcrowding.

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Andrew Fenton, MD FACE President, California Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (California ACEP)

ER crowding is a dangerous and growing crisis that dramatically increases the chances of patient death.

Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) September 28, 2012

The California Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (California ACEP) was disappointed to learn today that Governor Brown vetoed SB 336 (Lieu), which would have implemented a statewide plan to reduce the growing crisis of ER overcrowding.

SB 336 would have required hospitals to utilize a simple and proven solution to a serious public safety problem. The implementation of the solution required in this bill by the largest ER in California, successfully reduced the time they were operating dangerously or extremely overcrowded by more than 80%.

California ACEP President, Andrew Fenton, MD FACEP stated, “ER crowding is a dangerous and growing crisis that dramatically increases the chances of patient death. It is long past time that the state step in and fix this public safety problem.”

California ACEP, representing emergency physicians treating Californians in more than 11 million emergency department visits annually contend emergency room crowding is not a mere annoyance; dozens of medical journals have shown the link between increased wait times and increased morbidity and mortality.

A study published in the Academic Emergency Medicine journal showed the use of the full-capacity crowding plan, as required by SB 336, resulted in a five-hour reduction in the average length of stay in the emergency room for admitted patients, and saved an additional 41,000 hours for patients waiting to see and be treated by a physician. This compelling data helped SB 336 earn overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate and Assembly.

Fenton concluded, “As California's emergency physicians, we are compelled to do something about this growing problem facing our patients. As physicians we have a duty to treat all patients who need care as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. We want the people of our state to know we are there for them 24/7 in an emergency or in a disaster. We need the state to step in and fix the systemic crowding problems and we are deeply disappointed that the Governor chose not to take this opportunity to do so.”


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