Florida Report Card, ER Medicine

Florida's state of emergency medicine is below the national average. A new report gives Florida an overall C- with the bulk of the grade stemming from residents’ access to emergency care.

No one really wants to go to an emergency room, but they should be there when you need them most.

A new report released by the American College of Emergency Physicians gives Florida's access to emergency care a C-. Some of the grading criteria include the number of board certified emergency physicians per 100,000 people, the number of hospital-staffed beds per 1,000 people, and trauma centers per one million people.

Dr. Raymond Gyarmathy, the medical director of the emergency department at Capital Regional Medical Center, believes Leon County is operating above the state average, but does have some concerns.

"As far as Leon County goes I'm a little concerned that we don't have a dedicated trauma center that is closer to us."

Officials with Tallahassee Memorial Hospital agree.

Warren Jones with Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare says, "This region needs a trauma center and we've been working now with state and local officials on developing a trauma center here."

The report shows a shortage of board certified emergency physicians and registered nurses in Florida, which in turn is believed to affect patient care.

But not all residents agree with the findings.

Angelina Thornton's husband received emergency care, and she says, "My husband was picked up at home by the EMTs, taken to the emergency room and given excellent care. We had to wait a little while, and they took care of him."

Angelina Thornton says her husband received excellent care both times he was in the emergency room. The report shows Georgia is slightly above Florida receiving an overall grade of C+ but fell behind with a D+ for access to emergency care.