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Emergency department crowding: A systematic review of causes, consequences and solutions

Morley, C ORCID: 0000-0001-9721-9225, Unwin, MR ORCID: 0000-0002-8431-3164, Peterson, GM ORCID: 0000-0002-6764-3882, Stankovich, J ORCID: 0000-0001-9344-7749 and Kinsman, L ORCID: 0000-0002-0790-5887 2018 , 'Emergency department crowding: A systematic review of causes, consequences and solutions' , PLoS One, vol. 13, no. 8 , pp. 1-42 , doi:

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Background:Emergency department crowding is a major global healthcare issue. There is much debate as to the causes of the phenomenon, leading to difficulties in developing successful, targeted solutions.Aim:The aim of this systematic review was to critically analyse and summarise the findings of peer-reviewed research studies investigating the causes and consequences of, and solutions to, emergency department crowding.Method:The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed. A structured search of four databases (Medline, CINAHL, EMBASE and Web of Science) was undertaken to identify peer-reviewed research publications aimed at investigating the causes or consequences of, or solutions to, emergency department crowding, published between January 2000 and June 2018. Two reviewers used validated critical appraisal tools to independently assess the quality of the studies. The study protocol was registered with the International prospective register of systematic reviews (PROSPERO 2017: CRD42017073439).Results:From 4,131 identified studies and 162 full text reviews, 102 studies met the inclusion criteria. The majority were retrospective cohort studies, with the greatest proportion (51%) trialling or modelling potential solutions to emergency department crowding. Fourteen studies examined causes and 40 investigated consequences. Two studies looked at both causes and consequences, and two investigated causes and solutions.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Morley, C and Unwin, MR and Peterson, GM and Stankovich, J and Kinsman, L
Keywords: emergency department access, hospital
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS One
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2018 Morley at al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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