Overcrowding in the ED

Patients with a mental health or substance abuse (MHSA) diagnosis accounted for 12.5% of all ED visits in the US in 2007.  MHSA-related ED visits were 2.5 times more likely to result in hospital admission than ED visits related to other conditions (nearly 41% of MHSA-related visits resulted in hospitalization) (Owens, Mutter,& Stocks, 2010).  MHSA-related ED visits resulted in longer stays in the ED, in part because hospitals are unable to move admitted patients to appropriate inpatient units (DeLia & Cantor, 2009). Members of the emergency medicine community are concerned that ED overcrowding results in decreased quality of care and increased likelihood of medical error (IOM, 2004).

Articles regarding the the Emergency Department Crisis in the United States:

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