Emergency Room Boarding

2055 Words Oct 26th, 2013 9 Pages
Running head: BOARDING PATIENTS IN THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT 1

Boarding Patients in the Emergency Department
Lauren Wiese
University of Scranton
BOARDING PATIENTS IN THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT 2
Abstract
A patient who is boarded is one who remains in the emergency department even after they have been admitted to the hospital. Boarding patients in the emergency department has become a problem for many hospitals in America today. It has affected the health and safety of patients and staff in numerous ways. This is an issue that needs to be resolved soon or the overall quality of healthcare in America will drop substantially.
BOARDING PATIENTS IN THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT 3

Boarding Patients in the
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Stress causes people to make unnecessary mistakes; but these types of mistakes are about life or death. Several recent studies looking at mortality rates in patients seeking emergency care conclude that the rate of death is substantially higher during times of crowding (Richardson, 2006, p. 213). A huge effect of boarding patients/overcrowding emergency departments is ambulance diversion. It occurs when a hospital ED cannot accommodate any more emergency patients so

BOARDING PATIENTS IN THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT 5 they must send them to another hospitals ED. Ambulances can drive around for unnecessary amounts of time trying to find a hospital with room in the emergency department for their victim. This can be scary for the victim. They present a huge health risk for patients seeking urgent medical attention. Ambulance diversions wouldn’t be an issue if overcrowding did not exist. Schull (2003) believes that ambulance diversion is driven by the boarding of patients and is not otherwise related to issues of staffing within the ED itself. (p.467-476) The longer a patient waits to be cared for, the more likely they are to walkout prior to receiving care. Richardson (2006) states that the number of patients with serious illness differs little between patients who left and those who waited for care. (p.462). Another reason a person would want to walkout is if they knew they were going to be boarded. If