Safe Discharge from the Emergency Department

Originally approved June 2019


The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) recognizes the social, societal, and physical determinants of health that often affect patients discharged after an emergency encounter, but also recognizes that there are unique procedural and resource limitations that differentiate inpatient and emergency department (ED) discharges. As such, ACEP believes the decision to discharge a patient from the ED should be a clinical decision by the emergency department physician or provider who cares for that patient and deems the patient stable and safe for discharge. ACEP opposes local, state, federal, and other externally mandated “safe” discharge requirements that supersede the clinical judgment of a treating emergency physician or provider.

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