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Emergency department wait times


My name is Pat Iyer. I’m a Legal Nurse Consultant who has helped attorneys with over a
100 emergency department medical or nursing malpractice cases. The emergency department is one of the highest-risk areas of the hospital. In this video I share tips about the liability associated with one of the highest risk
processes in the emergency department; having
patients wait for treatment. Most Legal Nurse Consultants and
attorneys are aware of stories of patients who
have been triaged in the emergency department and had a
delay in treatment. The patient was triaged and sent to the
emergency room waiting room and waited and waited and waited. Then the patient’s condition worsened while waiting. Two questions arise: Was the person
appropriately triaged based on the complaints? was there a delay in treatment given the
severity of the symptoms? Second, how long should the patient
have had to wait for treatment? Was there a standard for
how frequently the patient should have been assessed or how long the patient should have
waited in the waiting room? The number and mix of emergency department staff on duty affect the waiting time. Other factors
include the time of day, the number of patients in the treatment
area, the condition of the patients in the treatment area, If the department
is on divert, the number of patients who are being
triaged, the number of patients who were boarding,
or waiting for a hospital bed, the number of open emergency department
beds available for patients to be seen, the location of the emergency department
with longer waits, in urban areas then in non-urban areas, the volume of annual visits to the
emergency department with longer waits associated with busier ED’s handling 50,000 or more visitors per year. The
National Center for Health Statistics found that between 2003 to 2009 the mean wait time in emergency
departments increased by 25 percent up to 58 minutes. In this situation where there are waits patients lives can be affected, tissue
can die. For example a spinal cord injury, a
compartment syndrome, myocardial infarction, or hemorrhage can
all be affected by how soon treatment has begun. I discuss the
liability issues associated with emergency department in my new book, “Analyzing Emergency Department Medical
Malpractice Cases”. I wrote this book to assist Legal Nurse
Consultants and attorneys who handle emergency
department medical malpractice cases. Get ordering information at the link
below: http://tinyurl.com/n8scu25

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