AAEM Position Statement on ED Boarding

The practice of boarding patients in the ED is defined as holding admitted patients in the ED until a staffed, in-patient bed becomes available and this period usually lasts several hours (and sometimes days). Boarding is not in the best interest of the patient being boarded as it compromises their comfort, privacy and medical care. Boarding also delays the care of others, provokes ambulance diversion, and results in some patients leaving the waiting room before being seen by a physician. Boarding creates a significantly more stressful practice environment and contributes to professional dissatisfaction, burnout and high staff turnover. AAEM calls upon hospitals to seek options other than ED boarding to hold admitted patients. AAEM also calls upon regulating agencies to issue rules that forbid boarding.


Published: 5/15/07