Medical article criticizes communication between ER physicians and family doctor
Research performed by the Center for Studying Health System Change concluded that communication between ER doctors and the patient's primary care physician leaves much to be desired. Reported by Scripps-Howard, the research concluded that communication between these two entities--even when it may be live-saving--is haphazard and unreliable. Even when they send a patient to the ER, family physicians seldom contact the ER physician. Similarly, even where background information might prove life-saving--if not dollar-saving, ER physicians rarely attempt to contact an ER patient's family doctor. The research also concluded that when the two physicians do make contact, the result is usually a positive impact on the health care provided. A study reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that one source of the ER-primary physician disconnect is the relative shortage of primary care physicians, as medical school graduates opt for more lucrative specialty practices.