The financial impact of ambulance diversions and patient elopements.Acad Emerg Med. 2007 Jan; 14(1):58-62.AE
Admission process delays and other throughput inefficiencies are a leading cause of emergency department (ED) overcrowding, ambulance diversion, and patient elopements. Hospital capacity constraints reduce the number of treatment beds available to provide revenue-generating patient services. The objective of this study was to develop a practical method for quantifying the revenues that are potentially lost as a result of patient elopements and ambulance diversion.
Historical data from 62,588 patient visits to the ED of a 450-bed nonprofit community teaching hospital in central Pennsylvania between July 2004 and June 2005 were used to estimate the value of potential patient visits foregone as a result of ambulance diversion and patients leaving the ED without treatment.
The study hospital may have lost 3,881,506 dollars in net revenue as a result of ambulance diversions and patient elopements from the ED during a 12-month period.
Significant revenue may be foregone as a result of throughput delays that prevent the ED from utilizing its existing bed capacity for additional patient visits.