A new report gives Tennessee a C- grade in support for emergency care patients.

The state-by-state report card is published by the American College of Emergency Physicians every five years.

Tennessee improved from 33rd in the nation in 2009 to 17th this year. The state fared well in the disaster preparedness and medical liability environment categories, but saw declines in quality and patient safety and access to emergency care.

The report says Tennessee hasn't kept pace with other states in making technological improvements and the number of emergency rooms has fallen below the national average.

The state's worst grade came from public health and injury prevention due to a high number of traffic, fire and poisoning fatalities, and the third highest infant mortality rate in the nation.

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