A pair of new studies shine a light on how overcrowding and staffing shortages may be impacting emergency department (ED) wait times and patient care access. [Patient Engagement HIT]
The studies, based on EHR data from across the country, were published in JAMA Network Open by researchers from the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, and Yale University.
In the first study, researchers examined how hospital occupancy, the percentage of occupied staffed inpatient beds, was associated with long ED wait length or boarding times.
Between January 2020 and December 2021, researchers found that boarding times were greater than four hours nearly 90 percent of the time when occupancy was greater than 85 percent.
... By December 2021, median boarding times were over nine hours at the five percent of hospitals with the greatest occupancy.
The Joint Commission, a national accrediting body for hospitals, stressed that boarding times over four hours is a patient safety concern.
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