Reducing Family-Friendly Emergency Room Crowds

This winter’s “tripled emic” of influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, and COVID-19 has resulted in crowded emergency rooms, lengthy wait times for care, and a lack of hospital beds in addition to a reaction to children’s and adolescents’ rapidly increasing mental health care demands.

Although research indicates that 80% of paediatric emergency department visits take place in facilities other than children’s hospitals, the number of paediatric patients seeking care in emergency rooms had been increasing even before 2022.

Coordination will be Necessary to Find Solutions

Reducing Family-Friendly Emergency Room Crowds

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, reducing crowding in emergency rooms will need a concerted effort across the whole health care delivery system (AAP). In a new policy statement titled “Crowding in the Emergency Department: Issues and Suggestions for the Care of Children,” the AAP makes its recommendations. The statement will appear in the March 2023 issue of Pediatrics along with a technical report.

In many places, emergency rooms act as a safety net for medical care, according to Toni K. Gross, MD, MPH, FAAP, the policy statement’s primary author. Not only on a regular basis, but also during emergencies like pandemics, they must be available to give emergency care. To optimise patient flow and care, health care systems must make a careful, well-coordinated effort. Also, more young individuals must be assisted in obtaining outpatient care for chronic diseases rather than going to the emergency room.

Foremost, Patient Safety

The policy statement’s author, the AAP Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine, stated that patient safety is the main priority. One of the main causes of crowding is thought to be boarding, or keeping an admitted patient in the emergency room—typically because there aren’t enough staffed inpatient beds available.

The AAP advises, among other things:

Including methods and funding mechanisms, integrating mental health care into paediatric primary care.

supporting easily accessible outpatient resources, including unplanned visits and access to specialised care.

supporting financial incentives for non-standard or extended outpatient service hours (such as weekends), as well as innovative measures to coordinate care, such as school- and community-based programmes.

Utilising Telemedicine Services to Increase Access to Medical Treatment.

encouraging and aiding families in signing up for health insurance and fighting for the removal of obstacles to such enrollment.

According to Dr. Gross, there isn’t really a single way to prevent crowding in the emergency room. Hospitals and healthcare systems can take certain actions to lessen crowding. Making it simpler for families to get preventative care and manage chronic diseases, such as mental health issues, at an outpatient office is also perfect for preventing emergency department visits.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here