Placing Emergency Department Crowding on the Decision Agenda

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Executive SummaryEmergency department crowding (EDC) has worsened at alarming rates with 62% of hospitals reporting operating over capacity.Among concerns such as decreased patient satisfaction and interference with teaching missions, are more profound risks such as the morbidity and mortality associated with delays in treatment.The author provides a comprehensive overview of current research and opinions regarding causes, interventions, and future actions related to EDC.In order to understand the scope of EDC, the author discusses and defines criteria and indicators for evaluating EDC as well as enumerates potential causes for EDC.Various interventions designed to address input, throughput, and output were summarized, highlighting the complexity of variables and difficulty in proving the effects of specific interventions.With an understanding of local issues supported by comparative data, the author urges nurses to bring EDC forward to the action agenda as a regional and national concern.

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