Why Emergency Room Visits Increase during Holidays

Emergency Room VisitsHolidays are a time of celebration, enjoyment, and thanksgiving that people love to spend with family and friends. But with all the hustle and bustle, people often end up in emergency rooms when they fail to notice the basic safety measures. Emergency rooms see an increase in the number of patients who seek treatment during holidays. The reasons for ER admissions during holidays are sometimes funny, and even weird. The more crowded emergency rooms become, the more is the need for emergency room medical transcription and the support of a reliable medical transcription company to manage any transcription overflow. The ER is a high stress area for physicians who need to generate various kinds of accurate medical reports that are very important from the point of view of patient safety and quality care.

Here are some of the common accidents during holidays that can lead to ER visits, which primary care physicians can caution against.

Decoration-related Injuries

Falls often happen from ladders while decorating Christmas trees or hanging lights. These falls are dangerous and can necessitate a hospital admission. It is important to be very cautious while using ladders and follow safety measures. The ladders should be kept firm on a level surface and ideally someone should hold the ladder when the person doing the decoration is on it. The ladder can be positioned in such a way as to avoid too much leaning or reaching out.

Injuries Associated with Food and Cooking

Roasting turkey is a popular tradition when families come together during winter holidays. Taking necessary safety measures while cooking and baking such as use of mitts or folded napkins to handle hot pans will help avoid burns and injuries. Misuse of knives and carving utensils is another dangerous tendency that can cause cuts and hand lacerations. This is a common injury that increases the number of visits to the emergency room. A flat surface and proper cutting boards are necessary to avoid any cuts.

Another major problem is food poisoning caused due to undercooking, overeating, over drinking and consuming leftover food. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) warns that 76 million cases of food poisoning occur every year in the United States. Most cases are mild, but at least 325,000 people are hospitalized following food poisoning.

To avoid this, a thermometer can be used while cooking meat; warmers or ice buckets can be used when organizing a buffet style dinner; importantly, people need to watch what they are eating to avoid indigestion and irregular heart palpitations.

Substance Abuse Related Visits

Alcohol poisonings and problems caused by abuse of prescription drugs are rampant during holidays with a lot of partying around. Prescription drugs should be kept away out of reach of children. It is important to monitor alcohol use and stick to one’s limits when consuming alcohol. Accidents related to intoxication and drug abuse can be avoided by not driving or using a taxi service for transportation.

Stress-related Health Issues

Holidays inevitably involves a number of social get-togethers, and hectic preparations for the holiday season. This can be really stressful and take a toll on anyone. This is why there is an increasing incidence of panic attacks, depression and anxiety disorders during the holidays. To avoid ER visits associated with such health issues, it is important to sleep well, relax and maintain a balanced diet and exercise schedule. Elderly people need special care and it is essential to monitor their medication and keep immediate medical facilities ready to avoid emergency situations.

Naturally, with more accidents, injuries and health issues associated with the holiday season, ERs should be more prepared to take on the increased documentation challenge.

Meeting Emergency Room Transcription Overflow Efficiently

Given the large number of ER visits during holidays and possible staff shortage, emergency departments can assign the task of documenting ER STAT reports to a good transcription service provider. This will help to efficiently handle the unexpected fluctuation in transcription volume during the holiday season. Today’s healthcare landscape is tech driven, and a good service provider will work with any EMR/EHR, providing EMR-friendly medical transcription services that are HIPAA and HL7 compliant. Emergency departments can request for the STAT report to be delivered within quick turnaround time of 2/4/6/8 hours, which may not always be feasible if the transcription is done in-house.