A conceptual model for assessing quality of care for patients boarding in the emergency department: structure-process-outcome

Acad Emerg Med. 2011 Apr;18(4):430-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2011.01033.x.


Many believe that the "boarding" of emergency department (ED) patients awaiting inpatient beds compromises quality of care. To better study the quality of care of boarded patients, one should identify and understand the mechanisms accounting for any potential differences in care. This paper presents a conceptual boarding "structure-process-outcome" model to help assess quality of care provided to boarded patients and to aid in recognizing potential solutions to improve that quality, if it is deficient. The goal of the conceptual model is to create a practical framework on which a research and policy agenda can be based to measure and improve quality of care for boarded patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Emergency Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / standards
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Admission
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care*