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Boarding in the Emergency Department

As healthcare providers we need to practice two things in our dealings with disease: either help or do not harm the patient. The Joint Commission lists boarding as a patient safety risk that shouldn’t exceed four hours.

Even though our hospital’s emergency care system is near collapse! Facing overcrowding, heavy emergency resource demand, and staff shortages. This trifecta is hampering the delivery of high-quality medical care and compromises patient safety. In addition, now, Emergency Departments are boarding more patients.

ACEP believes a “boarded patient” is defined as a patient who remains in the emergency department after the patient has been admitted or placed into observation status at the facility but has not been transferred to an inpatient or observation unit.

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Sam Patterson