Imagine running to your local ER and waiting not minutes but hours to be seen, then the doctors admit you to the hospital, but there are absolutely no beds.
Yale emergency medicine doctor Arjun Venkatesh and his colleagues have documented widespread and growing overcrowding. In a pair of recently published studies, researchers looked at how long patients waited in the emergency room before being admitted.
“Those who come to the emergency department are evaluated, diagnosed and treated, and then need to be admitted to the hospital. They need to stay in the hospital, but they can be two, three, four, even That there are 12 and 24 hour waits for a hospital bed.” Dr Arjun Venkatesh said.
The researchers say the waiting time, called boarding time, is much higher than the national recommendation, which is no more than four hours to wait. As a result, Dr. Venkatesh says patients are coming out of the ER.
“One in 10 people who go to the emergency department go back without care because the wait is too long,” the doctor said.
Researchers say a shortage of health workers is contributing to overcrowding in hospitals, resulting in longer waiting times for emergencies. Dr Venkatesh says hospitals should re-evaluate how they deliver healthcare
“We have to figure out how to get people back to the bedside who have the training and the skills to do it. And maybe, we can start using artificial intelligence, computing technologies, other tools that allow us to administer Is.” work so that those people can care for patients and be more effective at doing so”
Previous studies have found that emergency department overcrowding not only delays treatment, but also leads to prolonged illness and sometimes death.
For health workers, overcrowding leads to increased turnover of doctors and nurses and an increase in burnout.
In a new study published in December, researchers found that overworked emergency room doctors may be misdiagnosing patients walking in the door.