Critical Care Delivery Solutions in the Emergency Department: Evolving Models in Caring for ICU Boarders

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Annals of emergency medicine


The National Academy of Medicine has identified emergency department (ED) crowding as a health care delivery problem. Because the ED is a portal of entry to the hospital, 25% of all ED encounters are related to critical illness. Crowding at both an ED and hospital level can thus lead to boarding of a number of critically ill patients in the ED. EDs are required to not only deliver immediate resuscitative and stabilizing care to critically ill patients on presentation but also provide longitudinal care while boarding for the ICU. Crowding and boarding are multifactorial and complex issues, for which different models for delivery of critical care in the ED have been described. Herein, we provide a narrative review of different models of delivery of critical care reported in the literature and highlight aspects for consideration for successful local implementation.

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ePub ahead of print