In a survey of nearly 1,500 practicing emergency physicians, more than 80% said crowded conditions in their emergency departments had increased either slightly (40.2%) or significantly (42.4%) in the past year, according to a recent poll from the American College of Emergency Physicians. In the study, conducted from Aug. 28 to Sept. 19, nearly 67% of respondents cited not enough staffing and/or resources as their leading concern about patient care.
Other top concerns included decreased throughput in the emergency department because of boarding patients (65.4%) and long wait times (65.3%). Also, 40.4% of physicians said their emergency-care environment has overcrowding and that access to specialty physicians and similar practice issues is a concern, but not yet a crisis.
Of those who responded, 703, or about 47%, said they had experienced a patient suffering as a result of crowded emergency rooms, while 200 said they had experienced a patient death for this reason at some point.
The survey was released at the 25,000-member associations annual scientific assembly being held in Seattle this week. -- by Jessica Zigmond
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