ACEP Unveils Boarding Solutions Report

June 2008

By Nancy Calaway
ACEP Communications Manager

A new ACEP report, "Emergency Department Crowding: High-Impact Solutions," recommends several low-cost or no-cost solutions to reduce the time patients are boarded in the emergency department.

ACEP's nine-member Boarding Solutions Task Force, chaired by Dr. Peter Viccellio, developed the report's recommendations over 8 months.

A common thread in the report is that boarding, the primary cause of overcrowding, is a systemic, hospital-wide problem.

Some of the solutions include simply moving patients out of the emergency department as soon as they are admitted, coordinating the discharge of hospital patients before noon to free inpatient beds, and distributing elective and sur-gical patients throughout the week.

"Our members put together some great boarding solutions that have been proven to work, not just in theory, but in practice at several hospitals across the country," explained Dean Wilkerson, ACEP's Executive Director.

"Our hope is that other emergency physicians can use the report, apply the recommendations to their own specific situations, and solve the daily challenges at their hospitals," he added.

"What is really exciting about these high-impact solutions is that they involve little or no cost to our health care system," Mr. Wilkerson said.

In late April, ACEP officials -- including President Linda Lawrence, M.D., President-elect Nick Jouriles, M.D., and Immediate Past President Brian Keaton, M.D. -- met with top leaders from the American Hospital Association (AHA), including their CEO, chairman, and senior staff members.

The AHA officials agreed to share the Boarding Solutions Task Force report with its member hospitals and continue to work with ACEP on hospital-wide solutions to crowding and boarding.

In addition, ACEP has received encouraging feedback from many of its members nationwide.

They have praise for the comprehensive report and have begun to work with their administrators to affect change in their protocols.

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