Western Journal of Emergency Medicine: Integrating Emergency Care with Population Health
Perceptions of Emergency Department Crowding in Pennsylvania
- Author(s): Pines, Jesse M
- Isserman, Joshua A
- Kelly, John J
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.5811/westjem.2011.5.6700
Introduction: The state of emergency department (ED) crowding in Pennsylvania has not previously been reported.
Methods: We assessed perceptions of ED crowding by surveying medical directors/chairs from Pennsylvania EDs in the spring of 2008.
Results: A total of 106 completed the questionnaire (68% response rate). A total of 83% (86/104) agreed that ED crowding was a problem; 26% (27/105) reported that at least half of admitted patients boarded for more than 4 hours. Ninety-eight percent (102/104) agreed that patient satisfaction suffers during crowding and 79% (84/106) stated that quality suffers. Sixty-five percent (68/105) reported that crowding had worsened during the past 2 years. Several hospital interventions were used to alleviate crowding: expediting discharges, 81% (86/106); prioritizing ED patients for inpatient beds, 79% (84/ 106); and ambulance diversion, 55% (57/105). Almost all respondents who had improved ED operations reported that it had reduced crowding.
Conclusion: ED crowding is a common problem in Pennsylvania and is worsening in the majority of hospitals, despite the implementation of a variety of interventions. [West J EmergMed. 2013;14(1):1–10.]