Recently, I read an article about a new idea to improve the delivery of health care. The idea is to create an entity that will "bridge the gap between overrun hospital emergency rooms and urgent-care clinics." The entities are known as local, freestanding emergency rooms (versus a hospital-based emergency room).
Currently, as we all know, the demand for emergency care is much too high; many people use the emergency room as their "primary physician." And not only are resources in hospital-based emergency rooms extremely limited because of the high demand for care, patients often (if not always) have an incredibly long wait time (been there).
There is a "huge gap" in what hospital-based emergency rooms and urgent-care clinics offer. The freestanding ERs are in between: "more than a clinic, but not quite a hospital." The freestanding ER can provide community emergency services (without overnight stay), with provisions such as x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, and laboratory services. One freestanding ER website stated: "on average, only about 10 percent of freestanding ER patients [end up] requiring hospitalization."
I think this idea, along with other innovative ideas, could drastically improve the delivery of health care in the United States. It goes against the current "money-making-machine-mentality" driving the current health care system, but it seems so simple - and really much too sensible to pass up.