Indiana's Disaster Preparedness is a Disaster, Receives D+ For its Lack of Support For Emergency Patients

Jan 16, 2014, 10:40 ET from American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)

What are my state's grades? Find them at

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Indiana received a near-failing D+ grade in the American College of Emergency Physicians' (ACEP) state-by-state report card on America's emergency care environment ("Report Card").  The Report Card ranked Indiana 40th in the nation — unchanged since 2009 — citing needs for state-level planning and coordination to improve disaster preparedness and the quality and patient safety environment.


The state received a failing grade in the category of Disaster Preparedness, ranking it 42nd in the nation. Indiana faces many challenges due to the lack of written procedures for emergency response coordination and a fractured emergency response system.

Indiana has made significant gains since 2009 in the categories of Access to Emergency Care and Medical Liability Environment. The state has implemented many important reforms, including apology inadmissibility laws, mandatory pretrial screening panels and a medical liability cap on total damages. Indiana also has the second lowest average malpractice award payment in the nation.

In addition, the state has adequate medical facilities with a very low hospital occupancy rate (60.6 per 100 staffed beds) and better-than-average emergency department wait times (239 minutes), staffed inpatient beds and psychiatric care beds. Indiana also has some of the lowest rates of adults and children with no health insurance (14.2 and 5.6 percent respectfully).

The Report Card recommendations for improvement include:

  • Increase the number of medical specialists who are willing to care for emergency patients.
  • Improve coordination among agencies responsible for emergency response, and involve emergency physicians in emergency response planning.
  • Develop a uniform system for providing pre-arrival instructions and destination policies for stroke and STEMI patients.
  • Address the findings of the Indiana taskforce that is examining the need for a state EMS physician medical director to improve quality of services delivered.

"America's Emergency Care Environment:  A State-by-State Report Card – 2014" evaluates conditions under which emergency care is being delivered, not the quality of care provided by hospitals and emergency providers. It has 136 measures in five categories:  access to emergency care (30 percent of the grade), quality and patient safety (20 percent), medical liability environment (20 percent), public health and injury prevention (15 percent) and disaster preparedness (15 percent). While America earned an overall mediocre grade of C- on the Report Card issued in 2009, this year the country received a near-failing grade of D+.

ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.

Follow ACEP on Twitter @emergencydocs

SOURCE American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)