What do you see?
- Are there any trends over time at the hospital where you work or would be most likely to visit?
- Are there differences in the number of patients waiting for a hospital bed between hospitals of the same type (e.g., Large Urban)?
Whether you’re a patient, provider, or health system administrator, thinking about why these differences might exist can start conversations and lead to solutions for improved quality of healthcare.
Alberta Health Services, Analytics. “ED Census Summary.” (2018) [Dashboard showing the average number of patients, per hour, in the emergency department waiting for a hospital bed, by month and facility]. AHS Tableau Reporting Platform. Retrieved from https://tableau.ahs.ca
Understanding “patients waiting in the emergency department for a hospital bed”
Sometimes, patients are admitted to other parts of the hospital for further treatment. However, they may have to wait in the emergency department until the appropriate hospital bed becomes available. This measure looks at, on average, the number of patients per hour who have been admitted to other parts of the hospital but remain waiting in the emergency department. This is important to look at because patients who have been admitted to other parts of the hospital require additional resources.
Different areas of the hospital are dedicated to meeting specific areas of patient need. These needs may not be best met by the care available in the emergency department. Also, these patients are occupying treatment space in the emergency department that would otherwise be available to newly arriving emergency department patients, meaning these new patients may need to wait longer to see an emergency doctor.
To understand how long these patients are waiting in the emergency department for a hospital bed, see length of time emergency department patients wait for a hospital bed after a decision to admit.
Results from May and June 2016 are not reported for the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre due to the forest fire that affected Fort McMurray and forced the closure of the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre.
Results for November 2019 to March 2020 are not available for the University of Alberta Hospital and the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
Updated results to September 2020 are not available at this time. These results will be added when they become available.
Results for Grande Prairie up to November 2021 reflect care provided at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital. Results after November 2021 reflect care provided at Grande Prairie Regional Hospital.
The Health Quality Council of Alberta uses the Alberta Quality Matrix for Health as a way of organizing information and thinking around the complexity of the healthcare system. This measure can be used as input to assess the emergency department’s performance in these dimensions of quality:
Dimensions of Quality