Hospital-Based Emergency Care: At the Breaking Point

Committee on the Future of Emergency Care in the United States Health System, Institute of Medicine
Washington, DC, USA: National Academies Press; 2006

In June 2006, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released this report that explores the changing role of the hospital emergency department in the US and describes the national epidemic of overcrowded emergency departments (EDs) and trauma centers. The report covers numerous topics, including: the role and impact of the ED within the larger hospital and health care system; overcrowding, boarding, and ambulance diversions; patient flow and information technology; workforce issues across multiple disciplines; patient safety and the quality and efficiency of emergency care services; clinical and health services research relevant to emergency care; and the special challenges of emergency care in rural settings. A vision for the future of emergency care in the US is presented with recommendations on how to achieve that vision.
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