LONDON — A new era in the care of the elderly is about to take hold.
The first step in the transformation is the arrival of the next generation of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.
The world’s largest hospital chain, Cigna, said Thursday that it would open a new outpatient emergency department and a new emergency department clinic in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood.
The first such hospital is in Chicago, but the Chicago region will soon be home to about 1,000 new hospitals and 1,400 new emergency departments, according to the International Hospital Association.
Cigna is the biggest provider of emergency care in the country.
It has about 50 hospitals and about 1 million beds.
This new era, called an “ecosystem,” will require a whole host of new technologies, including better communication, less expensive equipment and a willingness to deal with more patients, said Andrew Roper, an emergency physician at the University of Southern California Medical Center.
There are also concerns that the health system is failing in a big way.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said Thursday it has seen a 50 percent decline in the number of veterans dying of natural causes over the past three years.
As a result, health care costs are rising fast, and many states have imposed health insurance mandates that require hospitals to cover more of their costs.
Roper said that there is a real need for more research and development into new treatments for heart disease, cancer and other diseases.
In a recent study, a group of researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University, Boston found that emergency departments with more nurses and medical technicians performed better in reducing the rate of hospitalization for people with serious medical conditions, including pneumonia and influenza.
The researchers said that if hospitals can reduce the number and severity of illnesses, they can be more effective in caring for the chronically ill.
The number of patients being seen by emergency physicians has risen sharply in the last decade, and in many cases, patients are not seeing them because they are too sick or too expensive.
More patients can mean more patients need to be seen, which means more expensive care.
But the bigger challenge is finding a way to keep them there.
“There are many factors that need to change to make emergency departments more efficient,” Roper said.