Ask HRC: Improving ED Wait Times

September 14, 2020 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​A member requested suggestions for improving emergency department (ED) throughput and wait times when ED volumes exceed capacity and strategies to help with poor outcomes (i.e., low patient satisfaction scores, elopements, patients leaving against medical advice, increasing left without being seen rates, increasing diversion times and on-boarding).

In our reply, we noted that addressing organizational throughput and wait times in the ED should be at the forefront of any organization's plans. According to the Agency for Healthcare Risk and Quality (AHRQ), ED crowding compromises quality of care, costs organizations money, and erodes public trust. AHRQ suggests improving patient flow throughout the hospital...

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