December 4, 2020

Statement on the Use of Staffing Level Data in the COVID Era

Statement issued by ACEP President Dr. Mark Rosenberg
December 4, 2020

Data obtained from Emergency Department surveys, such as the average number of patients per physician, cannot be used to determine appropriate staffing.

Staffing needs vary for each facility depending on distribution of patients, the patients' acuity, and the use of supporting staff, such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and residents.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some areas of the country have seen a decrease in low acuity patients and an increase in high acuity patients.

As volumes and acuity have fluctuated with time, it is not wise to use any national or regional data to determine local staffing levels, particularly that data obtained prior to January 2020.

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