HH HLST - 1011
Lecture 2: Monday, January 13 , 2014
Lecture Topic: The Media and the Emergency Department
NewspaperArticle Summary: The crisis in ER by Vincent Lam p. 109 in course reader.
Why is media reporting important?
• Source of information about health and health care for large segments of public.
• Can affect priorities of politicians
• Can influence use of health facilities, drugs, etc.
• May increase tensions between groups, e.g., doctors/nurses and paramedics
• Can change and affect relationship between health professionals and patients
• Important source of news for the media (helps media generate revenue)
Potential Consequences of Media
• Dissatisfaction with care
- Disruptive behaviour
- Complaints to hospital, CPSO
• Physicians need to be cognizant of these perceptions and explain to patients
- Why case will not resolve quickly
- Why time moves more slowly in reality
- Team-based approach to care that MD is a part of but does not lead
Why do stories about the ED get into media?
• Crisis situation
- Long waits, people dying, new problems (SARS, West Nile, H1N1), shooting
• Heighten awareness about problems in EDs
• Reporters invited in to see/document situation in hope of stimulating action
- e.g., RNAO may talk to reporters about nursing shortage
• Weather related
- Cold: how to treat hypothermia - Hot: how to treat heat stroke
What is newsworthy?
• Will the target audience be interested in the subject?
• Is the story “new”? Is there a new angle?
• Is it relevant to the times? And in what context?
• Is there controversy?
• Is there a human interest angle?
• Will it help sell newspapers?
• Will our competitors run the story?
Who cares about how the media portrays the ED?
• Hospital administrators
• Doctors and nurses in the ED
Where do journalists/writers get their information?
• ER T.V. Show
- 2 of 6 writers were doctors (one was practising in an