Emergency Services and Trauma Care
The county emergency medical services system is facing increasingly challenging conditions such as overcrowding, which causes higher numbers of frustrated patients to leave without receiving care. In 2002, the average percent of time that the L.A. County DHS emergency rooms were on diversion climbed to 62 percent. Numerous studies document an increase in poorer outcomes among patients leaving without being seen, as well as longer transport times for diverted ambulances leading to higher rates of illness regardless of insurance status. The Frequent Users of Health Services Initiative is a five-year project funded by The California Endowment and the California HealthCare Foundation supporting six collaborative projects throughout the state focused on decreasing unnecessary use of emergency rooms and avoidable hospital stays.