Inadequate Staffing And Emergency Department Capacity

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Inadequate staffing and emergency department capacity also results in patients leaving without being seen. A descriptive retrospective study conducted by Bambi et al showed that on Mondays when the patient volume was the highest the waiting time was also the longest in comparison to Saturday and Sundays which had lower patient volume and thus shorter waiting time. The increase in wait time was attributed to the “higher workload of ED staff and the rise in the number of patients in need of intensive care or who have acute pain or injuries” (Bambi et al., 2011). Another proxy of the emergency healthcare system is the capacity of the emergency department. Initially emergency departments were created to respond to critical or life threatening conditions but are now responding to a spectrum of conditions ranging from life threatening to non-urgent conditions. This consequentially leads to higher patient volume, and operation beyond the intended capacity and an increase in LWBS. Fayyaz et al., also argues that emergency boarding of admitted patients and hospital occupancy as a cause of ED crowding rather than influx of non-urgent patients. Furthermore, lack of available beds for high acuity patients who are critically ill or intubated may remain in the ED for 24-48 hours awaiting a room. As this continues to get worse the emergency departments continue to receive an influx of critical patients that ultimately places a strain on limited resources such as nursing staff and
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