Emergency department operational metrics, measures and definitions: results of the Second Performance Measures and Benchmarking Summit

Ann Emerg Med. 2011 Jul;58(1):33-40. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2010.08.040. Epub 2010 Nov 10.


There is a growing mandate from the public, payers, hospitals, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to measure and improve emergency department (ED) performance. This creates a compelling need for a standard set of definitions about the measurement of ED operational performance. This Concepts article reports the consensus of a summit of emergency medicine experts tasked with the review, expansion, and update of key definitions and metrics for ED operations. Thirty-two emergency medicine leaders convened for the Second Performance Measures and Benchmarking Summit on February 24, 2010. Before arrival, attendees were provided with the original definitions published in 2006 and were surveyed about gaps and limitations in the original work. According to survey responses, a work plan to revise and update the definitions was developed. Published definitions from key stakeholders in emergency medicine and health care were reviewed and circulated. At the summit, attendees discussed and debated key terminology and metrics and work groups were created to draft the revised document. Workgroups communicated online and by teleconference to reach consensus. When possible, definitions were aligned with performance measures and definitions put forth by the CMS, the Emergency Nurses Association Consistent Metrics Document, and the National Quality Forum. The results of this work are presented as a reference document.

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking / standards*
  • Benchmarking / statistics & numerical data
  • Congresses as Topic
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / standards*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care / standards*
  • Quality Indicators, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Time Factors