WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11, 2023 (HealthDay News) — More than four in 10 adults would delay or avoid going to the emergency department if they knew that they or a loved one with a severe illness or injury could face extreme delays associated with “boarding,” according to a poll released Oct. 4 by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).
An online survey of 2,164 adults was conducted between Sept. 9 and 11, 2023. According to the results of the survey, 80 percent of adults are concerned about the boarding crisis and 43 percent would delay or avoid going to the emergency department if they knew that they or a loved one could face a long wait before being admitted to the hospital or transferred to another facility. Four in 10 adults said that they or a loved one experienced a long wait time after receiving care in an emergency department. Of those experiencing a long wait time, 16 percent reported that they or a loved one waited ≥13 hours after being seen in the emergency department before being admitted to another part of the hospital or transferred to another facility. The vast majority of adults (93 percent) said emergency medical services, such as emergency departments, paramedics, and emergency medical treatment, are essential and that supplemental government funding for these essential services should be a priority (89 percent).
“These delays strain our health care safety net, exacerbate emergency physician and staff burnout, and increase the chances for poor health outcomes, medical errors, or worse,” Aisha Terry, M.D., president-elect of ACEP, said in a statement. “Emergency physicians and care teams are doing their best under extraordinary circumstances, but they cannot solve these problems alone.”
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