Thursday, June 01, 2006

Press Ganey Length of Stay Study

From USA Today, via Symtym:

Hospital patients in Arizona spend more than twice as much time in the emergency department as those in Iowa and Nebraska, a report shows.

But wherever you live, you might want to bring something to read. The average length of stay in U.S. emergency rooms is 3.7 hours, or 222 minutes. The state-by-state look at emergency department waiting times was conducted by Press Ganey Associates, which measures patient satisfaction for 35% of the nation's hospitals.

The report on emergency-room times is based on about 1.5 million patient questionnaires filled out in 2005. And it shows wide state-to-state variations in the time between entering the hospital's emergency department and being admitted or sent home. (Idaho is not included because there wasn't enough data available.)

Iowa (138.3 minutes) and Nebraska (146.1 minutes) had the shortest emergency-room stays, while Maryland (246.9 minutes), and Arizona (297.3 minutes) had the longest.

The findings are important because studies have shown that the less time patients wait to be seen, or spend in the emergency room, the greater their satisfaction with their care. As emergency-room visits continue to increase, many hospitals are promising to see patients quickly as a marketing tool.


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