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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

People Overusing the ER for Non-Emergencies

CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- A warning from a team of care providers: they say we have a crisis in area emergency rooms.

So much so, they've launched a new campaign asking all of us to, "Make the Right Call."

It's a busy day already at Bethesda North Hospital, and Doctor Roderick Huff's shift is just beginning.

"We've had strokes, we've had some trauma and some back injuries, we had a heart attack."

In these cases, intervention teams are on stand-by for transfer.  For others however, such as Kevin who let us follow Doctor Huff for his ER visit, care and treatment takes a little time.  Doctor Huff says he came to the right place because Kevin couldn't breath.

"He actually went to an Urgent Care first, and made the diagnosis of a pnuemothorax and then was brought into the emergency room for treatment."

Patients such as Kevin may soon be in crisis, waiting in line for the care they need in the ER, because many of us use the emergency department as a doctors office.

"It's kind of a habit to just go to the emergency department because it's open 24/7."

To find this out experts looked at information from area hospitals and they found many of us use the ER for non emergencies.

"When we look at the reasons for why adults in greater Cincinnati most commonly go to the emergency department, ti's actually for things such as respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and headaches.  And these are actually conditions which can usually be taken care of by your primary care physician."

Hirsh is now part of a team with the Health Care Collaborative trying to get us to "Make the Right Call" for urgent needs that aren't an emergency.  Because frankly, we can't afford not to.

It's nearly 600 dollars more to go to the hospital.  That cost gets passed on to your health care premiums and those visits overwhelm those who have real emergencies.  If you don't have a primary care doctor, "Make the Right Call" has a new campaign website designed to help you find one.

Dial your doctor's office first and ask for directions.  You need someone who knows your personal health history.

Check out the "Make the Right Call" campaign HERE.

VIDEO HERE
 

 

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