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Best EDs Focus on Flow

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, June 11, 2012

Waiting is still a given for the ED, though health systems are working to reduce the times, with some posting their schedules on websites as marketing tools to show they may be faster than another facility. According to the survey, 41% of healthcare leaders said the average ED wait time for patients to be seen by a clinical provider is from 0–30 minutes, while 35% said it's from 31–60 minutes, and another 23% put it at more than an hour.

Most healthcare leaders, 56%, reported an increase in ED inpatient admissions over the past two years, with just 13% noting a decrease. Among hospitals that indicated an increase, 55% reported growth of 1%–10%.

"The reason we are going to see fewer inpatient admissions and higher ED volumes is because the people aren't sick; patients are utilizing the ED as their primary care physician office instead of using the ED as it should be" Davis says.

Stress on the nation's EDs could grow, as 27% of respondents said they expect a significant increase in the number of uninsured in their ED in the coming year, and 58% expect a slight increase.

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