ACEP’s Suggested Boarding Solutions Generate National Support

May 30, 2008

A recently-released ACEP report offering several low-cost or no-cost solutions to emergency department crowding is gaining national support.

"Emergency Department Crowding: High-Impact Solutions," the report developed by ACEP’s Boarding Solutions Task Force, was lauded in a May 30 editorial in USA Today for its "common-sense changes to fix the ER mess."

The high-profile editorial was the result of a nationwide radio and TV satellite media tour, featuring ACEP President Linda Lawrence, MD, and President-Elect Nick Jouriles, MD.

"The USA Today editorial elevates ACEP’s concerns about emergency department crowding to the nation," said Laura Gore, ACEP’s Public Relations Director. "The editors of this national paper framed the issue perfectly and precisely, and in some ways, did it like no other news organization has been able to do.  They made it clear there are simple solutions that hospitals can do, and that some hospitals are already doing. 

"This effort was generated by a national public education campaign that ACEP conducted during the Leadership & Advocacy Conference," she added.  "The campaign included focuses on the need to include emergency care in health care reform and a report developed by ACEP’s Board of Directors -- ACEP Task Force Report on Boarding Emergency Department Crowding: High-Impact Solutions."

The report states that boarding patients, the primary cause of overcrowding, is a systemic, hospital-wide problem. Some of the solutions in the report include simply moving patients out of the ED as soon as they are admitted, coordinating the discharge of hospital patients before noon to free inpatient beds, and distributing elective and surgical 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," said 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."

Read the ACEP Boarding Solutions Task Force report online.

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