Emergency health care assessment in the Houston-Galveston region 2002–2006

Mary Evelyn Schuwerk, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Background. Previous studies show emergency rooms to be over crowded nation wide. With growing attention to this problem, the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) initiated a study in 2005 to assess their region's emergency health care system, and continued this effort in 2007. The purpose of this study was to examine recent changes in volume, capacity and performance in the Houston-Galveston region's emergency health care system and determine whether the system has been able to effectively respond to the residents' demands. Methods. Data were collected by the Houston-Galveston Area Council and The Abaris Group using a self-administered 2002-2006 survey completed by administrators of the region's hospitals, EMS providers, and select fire departments that provide EMS services. Data from both studies were combined and matched to examine trends. Results. Volume increased among the reporting hospitals within the Houston-Galveston region from 2002 to 2006; however, capacity remained relatively unchanged. EMS providers reported higher average off load times in 2007 compared to 2005, but the increases were not statistically significant. Hospitals reported transferring a statistically significant greater percentage of patients in 2006 than 2004. There was no statistically significant change in any of the other measures. Conclusion. These findings indicate an increase in demand for the Houston-Galveston region's emergency healthcare services with no change in supply. Additional studies within the area are needed to fully assess and evaluate the impact of these changes on system performance.

Subject Area

Public health|Health care

Recommended Citation

Schuwerk, Mary Evelyn, "Emergency health care assessment in the Houston-Galveston region 2002–2006" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1450312.