The number of patients presenting to emergency departments in the United States has been on the rise over the past three decades [1]. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there was a 16.5-percent increase in total ED visits from 2007 to 2009, with 116.8 million to 136.1 million respectively [1].

This increase in annual ED visits has subsequently led to a 25-percent increase in the amount of time a patient has to wait to see a provider; 46.5 minutes to 58.1 minutes between 2003 and 2009 [2]. These increased wait times can also hinder ambulance crews from returning to service. Read More...