Oklahoma Ranked 48th in Nation for Emergency Medical Care

By Shottenkirk, Jerry | THE JOURNAL RECORD, January 11, 2006 | Go to article overview

Oklahoma Ranked 48th in Nation for Emergency Medical Care


Shottenkirk, Jerry, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Oklahoma took a serious hit Tuesday when the American College of Emergency Physicians - commonly referred to as ACEP - gave the state a D+ and ranked it 48th in the country in emergency medicine.

ACEP released its first National Report Card and graded 50 states and the District of Columbia. ACEP is a national specialty group presenting emergency medicine.

Oklahoma was second in number of emergency departments and third in number of trauma centers. Those figures boosted its grade to C- in Access to Emergency Care. The report has little to do with hospital performance, but rather is more concerned with the overall picture in the state.

ACEP's report recommended changes to help increase health insurance for the uninsured, have better disaster-response training and child immunization programs and speed up medical liability reform.

ACEP gave Oklahoma a D- in Quality and Patient Safety for not supporting advanced life support ambulance services (41st), online medical direction (41st) and enhanced 9-1-1 services (36th).

Oklahoma ranked 50th for percentage of children immunized and 39th in annual State Children's Health Insurance Program contributions for children's health insurance.

Our local, state and national leaders must work closely with emergency medicine expects to ensure that all Americans can receive the emergency medical care they need and expect, said Dr. Angela Gardner, Report Card Task Force chairwoman.

Oklahoma State Department of Health spokeswoman Leslea Bennett- Webb said the ranking of No. 48 is unfortunate but when I looked at it, I saw some good news, including that Oklahoma was impressive in the number of departments, beds, trauma care and how we handled patients over 65 with immunizations. …

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