Like peers around the country, hospitals in the sprawling region surrounding New York City are facing a emergency department crowding crisis. A recent survey by the American College of Emergency Physicians found that more than half of physicians responding from New York state, New Jersey and Connecticut reported that ED boarding had increased significantly in recent years. More worrisome, nearly one-third of New York state respondents said that they'd personally known of a patient who died due to boarding.
One New York facility--Stony Brook University Hospital--has responded to boarding problems by moving waiting patients into the hallways of inpatient units relevant to their condition (often chest pain). Under Stony Brook's protocols, only two waiting patients can be assigned to a given unit. Still, its approach has cut boarding rates more than 50 percent on average, and has been adopted in hundreds of hospitals elsewhere in the country.
To learn more about this problem:
- read this piece in The New York Times