Wait time for treatment in hospital emergency departments: 2009

NCHS Data Brief. 2012 Aug;(102):1-8.


From 1999 through 2009, the number of visits to emergency departments (EDs) increased 32%, from 102.8 million visits in 1999 to 136.1 million visits in 2009 (1,2). In some hospitals, increased ED visit volume has resulted in ED crowding and increased wait times for minor and sometimes serious problems, such as myocardial infarction (3–7). This report describes the recent trend in wait times for treatment in EDs, and focuses on how wait times for treatment varied by two ED crowding measures: ambulance diversions and boarding of admitted patients.

MeSH terms

  • Ambulances / statistics & numerical data
  • Crowding
  • Emergencies
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Residence Characteristics / statistics & numerical data
  • Time Factors
  • Waiting Lists