Prolonged waiting times at the emergency department is associated with an enhanced risk of hospital admission or death among patients who do not receive the treatment on time.
Delay in extending care to patients due to long emergency department waiting times increased the risk of adverse events like hospitalization or death.
The risk of hospital admission for such patients went up by 95% while the risk of death rose by 79% among the sick patients.
Melissa McCarthy, Associate Professor at George Washington University said, "We need to extend the evaluation of emergency care to either the resolution of the problem or transfer of care to a provider better suited to tackle the patient's needs."
It is imperative that emergency departments be restructured to ensure patients' needs are met more efficiently.