The Emergency Department ( Ed )

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Background Length of stay in the Emergency Department (ED) is one important aspect of healthcare that can affect patient satisfaction as well as the number of patients that can be seen by a physician in a day. Length of stay (LOS) is measured as the time a person spends at the ED between arrival and departure (1). A longer LOS will not only affect patient satisfaction negatively by creating unnecessary frustrations, but can also cause ED overcrowding, leading to poor patient care (2). The number of ED visits in the U.S. i.s approximately 129.8 million in 2010 and is continuing to rise (10). The issue of ED overcrowding has gained national attention due to many problems, such as a decrease in hospital bed availability (3), an increase in hospital mortality, and an increase in the number of patients leaving the ED before being seen by a physician (4). It has then become increasingly evident that in order to improve patient care and ED flow, it is necessary to examine factors associated with longer LOS in the ED. The purpose of this study is to examine specifically the patient population that presents to the emergency department with suicidal ideation (SI), due to the lack of literature regarding the topic of LOS in patients with suicidal ideation. Considering how vulnerable suicidal patients are, it is even more crucial to provide prompt and timely care to them, and find ways to reduce their LOS in the ED. SI is defined as unusual thoughts or desire to end one’s life, which
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