Emergency Department Boarding Stories

Table of Contents

Our most vulnerable patients


"Our system has failed our most vulnerable patients. We held a 14 yr old girl in a tiny ED room for 42 days (!!!) awaiting transfer/placement for inpatient psychiatric care. In our ED we routinely board patients due to the hospital at capacity, but it's particularly bad with mental health patients who need inpatient psychiatric treatment. Our hospital is not a licensed psychiatric facility, and by law we may only hold for 72 hours under a 5150 application. That said, just because there are no facilities able and/or willing to take the patients doesn't mean their psychiatric emergencies have resolved. Can you imagine being confined to a small room, without actually getting psychiatric care, for 42 days? This could have been the subject of a Stephen King novel. Horrific."

In shock

We are a very rural hospital with only family practice and emergency physicians - there are no speci...

A crisis!

We are a 28 bed ED and routinely have 20-40 inpatient boarders (patients awaiting an inpatient bed).

Not uncommon

It is not uncommon for us to have more boarding patients in our ED than we have beds.

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