Solutions to emergency department 'boarding' and crowding are underused and may need to be legislated

Elaine Rabin, Keith Kocher, Mark McClelland, Jesse Pines, Ula Hwang, Niels Rathlev, Brent Asplin, N. Seth Trueger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations

Abstract

The practice of keeping admitted patients on stretchers in hospital emergency department hallways for hours or days, called " boarding," causes emergency department crowding and can be harmful to patients. Boarding increases patients' morbidity, lengths of hospital stay, and mortality. Strategies that optimize bed management reduce boarding by improving the efficiency of hospital patient flow, but these strategies are grossly underused. Convincing hospital leaders of the value of such solutions, and educating patients to advocate for such changes, may promote improvements. If these strategies do not work, legislation may be required to effect meaningful change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1757-1766
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Affairs
Volume31
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2012

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