Where our patients sometimes live in darkness, squalor, danger and hunger, whether run-down trailer, homeless tent or government project, the emergency departments are different. They are places of bright lights and warmth, safety and relief; where beds are clean and food is available. And if nothing else, places where there are people who are interested and polite.
Now is the time for medical communities everywhere to examine existing processes critically, pursue thoughtful advances in how we deliver care, and promote a culture that engages staff in the improvement process. Taking care of patients is not only about the therapies we provide but also having the most effective care delivery systems possible. By that metric, American health care still has significant room to grow.
The media frenzy around events in Dallas led many to believe that the danger of contracting Ebola in the U.S. is greater than it really is, stoking unfounded anxiety and hysteria among the public and some health care workers. Unfortunately, in its effort to counter the misperception about the danger posed by Ebola, the false assurances from the CDC only served to magnify that hysteria and sow confusion.
After today you might want to rethink the charms of the Show Me State. For the last year a local coalition has been pushing adoption of LGBT-welcoming policies at hospitals. In this week's release of HRC's Healthcare Equality Index, Missouri zoomed from 37th in the country to sixth in the number of local LGBT leader hospitals.