Emergency room visits are getting longer in Georgia
The median time Georgians spent in emergency rooms was 2 hours, 37 minutes last year — the latest in a steady increase from pre-pandemic times, according to the latest Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services data.
Why it matters: Time spent in the ER is a key metric for tracking hospital performance, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick reports.
- Increasing ER visit times are an indication that a hospital may be understaffed relative to a community's needs or is facing other issues.
Zoom in: Georgia's overall wait time increased slightly from 2 hours, 31 minutes in 2021 and 2 hours, 23 minutes in 2014.
- It's slightly shorter than the median of 2 hours, 40 minutes spent in emergency rooms nationwide in 2022 — a number that's rising in recent years.
Of note: The CMS data, which covers more than 4,000 Medicare-certified hospitals nationwide, captures the length of patients' entire ER visits, not just the time spent waiting to be first seen.
The intrigue: Fears of getting stuck at the ER for hours are fueling a boom in urgent care and retail health clinics, as we've previously reported.
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