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The Risk of Long ER Wait Times

The average emergency room patient in Texas waits over 4 hours until they’re admitted. Long ER wait times are not only frustrating for those seeking emergency care, but they also pose a serious danger.

The overcrowding crisis of hospital-based ERs is an undeniable threat to public health. Wait times are especially long during Sunday and Monday nights and the fall season.

Why are wait times such a concern in emergency rooms across the United States?

In this article, we will share important insight into long ER wait times and the solution for time-sensitive care.  

How Long ER Wait Times Impact Patient Outcomes

Waiting a long time at the ER is undoubtedly frustrating, but what many people don’t realize is that it can also be dangerous.

A study from the BMJ- British Medical Journal found that long emergency wait times are associated with adverse events. Specifically, the study uncovered that longer wait times were associated with “an increased risk of hospital admission or death within seven days among non-admitted patients.”

The long wait times in emergency rooms mean that some patients will need to leave without getting treated. That’s why they may need to return to the hospital for admission in the future or may face worsening effects that can even lead to death.

The researchers estimated that reducing the wait times by even 1 hour would have decreased the deaths in higher-risk patients by 6.5% and lower-risk patients by 12.7%.

What Causes Hospital-Based ER Overcrowding?

There are several factors that influence ER overcrowding. One is a disorganized triage system. The triage system is an outline for prioritizing urgent patients in emergency rooms. Lack of standardization in how this system is implemented leads to emergency room overcrowding and long wait times.

Another challenge for the emergency room is the physical space for treating patients. Not having enough beds available creates a physical barrier to treatment, which increases wait times. Separating critical and non-critical patients in the waiting room can help, as low-acuity patients may be able to be treated in another area.  

Lower Wait Times at Physicians Premier

Long ER wait times are a major issue at hospitals around the nation, but some organizations address the issue better than others.

For the top emergency room in Corpus Christi, turn to Physicians Premier. Our passionate, dedicated team leverages industry-leading technology and facilities to outperform hospital-based ERs.

At Physicians Premier, our onsite physicians and emergency medical staff will make sure that you receive the help you need as quickly as possible. Using our onsite laboratory and diagnostic imaging, we efficiently gather the necessary tests to ensure quick, effective treatment. In our facility, we offer CT scans, digital X-rays, EKGs, ultrasounds, and more. Our equipment allows us to assess emergency needs, and we are therefore able to drastically reduce wait times.

The truth is that waiting too long at the ER decreases patient outcomes. It’s a risk that you shouldn’t take when it comes to your health.

Our freestanding ER offers convenient, streamlined care. We understand how time-sensitive ER care is, and our committed team does everything we can to make sure you get the care you need when you need it.

Visit us today for emergency care in Corpus Christi, or contact us with any questions.

“ER Wait Times & Violations by State,” ProPublica,
“Who waits longest in the emergency department and who leaves without being seen?” BMJ Journals,
“Long emergency waiting times linked to increased risk of adverse events,” Science Daily,
“Understanding Emergency Department Wait Times,” Colleaga,