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Sun  BC, Hsia  RY, Weiss  RE,  et al.  Effect of emergency department crowding on outcomes of admitted patients.  Ann Emerg Med.2013;61(6):605-611.e6. doi:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2012.10.026. PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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Research Letter
November 2014

Timeliness of Care in US Emergency Departments: An Analysis of Newly Released Metrics From the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Author Affiliations
  • 1Currently a medical student at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
  • 2Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(11):1847-1849. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.3431

The relationship between increasing emergency department (ED) crowding and worse outcomes for patients has been well documented.1,2 This evidence has created growing recognition among federal policy makers that the quality of emergency care should be measured. In July 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services3 made several quality measures of ED timeliness publicly available online. These data provide a national portrait of the ability of EDs to provide timely care, an essential concern given the severity and time sensitivity of many acute illnesses and injuries.

We investigated how hospital EDs perform on measurements of timely care and whether certain hospital characteristics or patient populations are associated with poor timeliness of ED care. Previous literature on ED timeliness of care has been limited to investigations with non–nationally representative samples or to 1 or 2 measures of timeliness of care.1,4-7