MADISON — Nearly 53,000 people were cared for in a Wisconsin hospital every day in 2012 according to data collected by the Wisconsin Hospital Association Information Center (WHAIC) and published in the Guide to Wisconsin Hospitals. The WHAIC is responsible for collecting and disseminating Wisconsin hospital and freestanding ambulatory surgery center data.
Wisconsin hospitals welcomed 64,255 babies into the world in 2012; 2,419 of those newborns required care in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
WHAIC reported that in 2012, 148 Wisconsin hospitals provided uncompensated health care services on more than 1.2 million hospital visits by patients who were uninsured, underinsured and low income.
Hospitals continue to report an uptick in the number of patients they see on an outpatient basis. In 2012, there were more than 16.3 million outpatient visits, or about 44,685 patients per day, which is up three percent over 2011. More than 70 percent–or 539,740–of the surgeries and procedures performed in hospitals were delivered in the outpatient department.
“We continue to see a steady increase in hospital outpatient visits. Medical and technological advancements are making procedures and treatments available in the outpatient setting that just a few years ago would have required an overnight stay,” according to WHAIC Vice President Debbie Rickelman.
Wisconsin emergency rooms (ERs) were busy, with more than 1.65 million visits in 2012, which is the most recent year that data is available. The most common reason for an ER visit was abdominal pain, followed by chest pain, which replaced complications from pregnancy or childbirth, which had been in the second position for a number of years. Injury-related visits accounted for 24 percent of total ER volume.
There were 150 hospitals that submitted data to the WHAIC in 2012. Hospitals are among the largest employers in the state, employing more than 100,000 people with a broad range of skills, from high school graduate to highly-specialized health care professionals. The 24/7, 365-days-a-year nature of health care requires that hospitals have a flexible, well-trained workforce.
“Hospitals are the health care safety net in every community they serve, and our employees are at the front lines of care,” said Wisconsin Hospital Association President Steve Brenton. “As we observe Hospital Week, it is a good time to celebrate our hospitals and the professional and support staff who are focused on providing high-quality, compassionate care to our patients and their families.”
Begun in 1921, National Hospital Week celebrates the history, technology and dedicated professionals that make hospitals beacons of confidence and care.