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Nation’s ER system on life support

San Diego's system is one of the few bright spots in a new report on the dismal state of emergency care in the United States. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

The Institute of Medicine report says the nation's ER system is on life support. The study says emergency rooms are chronically overcrowded.

In contrast, the report singles out San Diego's ER system for taking steps to improve the situation.

Dr. Roneet Lev directs emergency services at San Diego's Scripps Mercy Hospital. She says unlike in other markets, San Diego's ERs turn away ambulances for only one hour at a time.

Lev: This is something that makes San Diego much better than other places, is that we've been able to reduce the problems that paramedics have in getting into hospitals.

However, Lev says emergency rooms everywhere are still plagued by long wait times, caused by a shortage of available hospital beds. Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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