Home hospital impacts on emergency department crowding

Home hospital programs have the potential to free inpatient beds and extend hospital facility capacity

September 7, 2017

Hospital emergency departments (EDs) play a critical role in the United States healthcare system, providing a gateway to care for many people. However, EDs throughout the United States are experiencing crowding, and research has determined ED patient boarding is a major source of ED crowding. 

ED patient boarding is when an ED patient remains in the facility after the decision to admit or transfer the individual is made by a physician. Boarding often occurs when an inpatient bed elsewhere in the hospital is not available for the ED patient. Therefore, the ED becomes a bottleneck for patient flow as patients are delayed in being admitted to inpatient beds. 

According to an article by John Fard, a project manager at CBRE, home hospital programs, in which select patients receive hospital-level care at home, are linked with the potential to free inpatient beds and extend hospital facility capacity.

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