Is Your Medical Staff Commuting from Too Far Away?

Doctors and nurses have to be able to respond quickly to emergency calls at any hour of the day. In order to do this, they need to live close to their hospitals. Many hospitals have taken measures to ensure that their employees will be able to travel from their homes to the emergency rooms in a short time. If some of your doctors and nurses are taking too long to commute to your hospital, you should encourage them to move closer.


What Happens to Patients if Doctors and Nurses are Too Far Away?

Certain medical events can result in serious conditions, permanent disabilities or even death within a short time. Getting treatment a few minutes earlier can make a big difference in a patient’s chances of recovery or survival.

For instance, someone who suffers a life-threatening cardiac arrest can lose his or her pulse within seconds and die within minutes.

If your hospital does not have a cardiologist or emergency nurse on site to administer emergency care, the patient will not be able to get proper treatment until an on-call physician arrives. If the physician takes more than half an hour to reach your hospital, the patient will have a slim chance of surviving the cardiac arrest.

Encourage Your Doctors and Nurses to Stay Close

Doctors and nurses who live relatively far away may not always be able to arrive at your hospital punctually.

They can be delayed by traffic congestion, bad weather and other unexpected circumstances. If they stay close to your hospital, their travel time will be less affected by such circumstances.

Traveling a longer distance can also make them feel more stressed, and they may not be able to provide the best quality care immediately after they arrive at the hospital.

Even if there are physicians and nurses present in your hospital at all times, they may have difficulty meeting the needs of every patient during busy times.

Having all your doctors and nurses living near your hospital makes it easier for you to get extra help whenever you need it.

If you fail to administer emergency care promptly on certain occasions, you may jeopardize the well-being of your patients, which can in turn hurt the reputation of your hospital.

Ensure There Will Always Be Enough Doctors and Nurses Available

The most effective way to keep your doctors and nurses close is to impose a limit on the distance or time of travel between their homes and your hospital.

An example of a hospital that has implemented such a rule is the Parma Community General Hospital in Ohio, which has all its employees living less than 30 minutes away.

If you have the necessary financial resources, you may want to consider building an employee housing complex in or around your hospital premises. Some hospitals offer a wide range of transportation options for their employees to enable them to arrive at work on time and respond to emergency calls promptly.

The time needed for your on-call doctors and nurses to get to your hospital can mean the difference between life and death.

By encouraging them to live near your hospital, you can significantly improve the efficiency and quality of your emergency care service.


About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from hospital management to car loans with bad credit.