This paper will describe the purpose of emergency departments and how they have become overcrowded, overused, the problems associated with the overcrowding and the new strategies that have been put into place to lower the amount of emergency department visits. About half of reported emergency department visits are normally considered non-urgent and because of this, millions, if not billions of dollars are wasted. Overuse of emergency departments become overcrowded, and those in dire need of emergency care may have to be rerouted or have longer wait times if no beds are available.

Overuse of Emergency Departments not only effects the patients, it also effects the emergency department staff. The blame for this comes from the knowledge that most emergency departments will not deny a patient care in an emergency situation regardless of no insurance. Many of patients on Medicare or Medicaid are able to avoid the charges from an emergency department visit using this insurance especially if a patient has Medicare/Medicaid as a secondary insurance, because this can allow for those who have a copay for regular doctor visits to be avoided if they chose to go straight to an emergency department, urgent or minor.

More information about the causes and effects of overused emergency departments will be described in more depth throughout the paper. There will also be details of past conducted studies that have implemented a process that positively lowered the amounts of emergency department visits and wait times. This paper will discuss the purpose of emergency departments, why they have become overused and overcrowded, and give supported solutions for decreasing wait times, overcrowding, and over usage in emergency departments which in some countries, has been known as a national crisis.

Keywords: Emergency Department, Organizational Procedures, Overcrowding

Year Manuscript Completed

Spring 2018

Senior Project Advisor

George Barton

Degree Awarded

Bachelor of Integrated Studies Degree

Field of Study

Health Care Administration

Document Type