How Long Will You Wait for Care?
By Dave Sellers
Emergency departments are responsible for about half of all hospital admissions, according to a RAND Corporation study. In fact, more people step into ERs every year, with visits hitting 136 million in 2015, up from 97 million in 1995, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Meanwhile, the number of emergency departments is down about 11% over that same time period. As a result, many people in need of emergency care are waiting longer to see a doctor.
Aware of these stats, we were curious about how long patients are really waiting to be seen. This infographic shares what we learned as we analyzed trends in ER wait times around the United States. Highlights include:
In the most extreme cases, the percentage of patients who leave before being seen is 18%, whereas the national average is 2%.
For facilities with the highest proportion of people leaving before being seen, 75% have wait times more than
two times the national average for patients who choose to wait to be seen.
There are shorter wait times to see a physician at Critical Access Hospitals, a trend that is in line with lower wait times in more rural locations which is where CAH’s are located.
Residents of metro area and states with large population centers will likely wait quite a while to see a medical professional, be evaluated for admission, and get to a room, should they need to.