UC Irvine Western Journal of Emergency Medicine: Integrating Emergency Care with Population Health Title The Financial Impact of Emergency Department Crowding Publication Date Financial Impact of Emergency Department Crowding

Mathew Foley, Nizar Kifaieh, William Mallon, Mathew Foley, Nizar Kifaieh, William Mallon
2011 Journal Western Journal of Emergency Medicine: Integrating Emergency Care with Population Health   unpublished
Objective: The economic benefits of reducing emergency department (ED) crowding are potentially substantial as they may decrease hospital length of stay. Hospital administrators and public officials may therefore be motivated to implement crowding protocols. We sought to identify a potential cost of ED crowding by evaluating the contribution of excess ED length of stay (LOS) to overall hospital length of stay. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of administrative data of adult patients
more » ... a of adult patients from two urban hospitals (one county and one university) in Brooklyn, New York from 2006-2007. Data was provided by each facility. Extrapolating from prior research (Krochmal and Riley, 2005), we determined the increase in total hospital LOS due to extended ED lengths of stay, and applied cost and charge analyses for the two separate facilities. Results: We determined that 6,205 (5.0%) admitted adult patients from the county facility and 3,017 (3.4%) patients from the university facility were held in the ED greater than one day over a one-year period. From prior research, it has been estimated that each of these patient's total hospital length of stay was increased on average by 11.7% (0.61 days at the county facility, and 0.71 days at the university facility). The increased charges over one year at the county facility due to the extended ED LOS was therefore approximately $9.8 million, while the increased costs at the university facility were approximately $3.9 million.
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