Ban on Ambulance Diversions Doesn't Worsen ER Crowding

Findings based on the experience of nine Boston-area emergency departments

THURSDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- A 2009 ban on ambulance diversion in Massachusetts did not worsen crowding in emergency departments or ambulance turnaround times, according to research published online Dec. 21 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Laura G. Burke, M.D., from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed data from nine Boston-area hospital emergency departments before and after the ban. Emergency department length of stay was used as a proxy for crowding.

The researchers observed no increase in emergency department length of stay for admitted or discharged patients or in ambulance turnaround time, despite an overall 3.6 percent increase in emergency department volume. Overall, there was a 10.4-minute decrease in length of stay for admitted patients, and a 2.2-minute decrease in turnaround time. When analyzed separately, neither high- nor low-diverting emergency departments saw an increase in length of stay, and both saw a decrease in turnaround time.

"Our results suggest that the ban did not worsen emergency department crowding or ambulance availability at Boston-area hospitals," the authors write.

Full Text

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Debunking Three Rape Myths
Journal of Forensic Nursing, October/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2.5 $24.95


Drug updates and approvals: 2014 in review
The Nurse Practitioner, 13December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:3 $27.95


Can Food Processing Enhance Cancer Protection?
Nutrition Today, September/October 2014
Expires: 10/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95


More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events