Emergency department (ED) wait times vary greatly among hospitals across the country, according to new data. For the first time, hospitals can compare their emergency department performance with volunteer data posted on Hospital Compare. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Service Services website includes two quality metrics--average (median) time patients spent in the ED before patients were admitted to the hospital as an inpatient, as well as average (median) time patients spent in the ED after the physician decided to admit them as an inpatient before leaving the ED for their inpatient room.
The median time between when patients enter the ED door until they leave the ED for an inpatient bed range from 387 minutes at Niagara Falls (N.Y.) Memorial Hospital to 52 minutes at Perry (Okla.) Memorial Hospital, HealthLeaders Media reported. And the median time between the moment an ED doctor decides to admit patients to an inpatient bed and the time the patients actually left the ED for that bed ranges from 170 minutes, both at Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospital in Beaumont, Texas, and Niagara Falls Memorial, to no minutes at both Frio Regional Hospital in Pearsall, Texas, and Pocahontas Memorial Hospital in Buckeye, W.V. Hospital Compare noted that the number of cases from Pocahontas Memorial's reported data is too small to reliably tell how well a hospital is performing. Article