Sep 27, 2023 - Health

Emergency room visits are getting longer in Virginia

Data: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Chart: Jacque Schrag and Alice Feng/Axios
Data: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Chart: Jacque Schrag and Alice Feng/Axios

The median time Virginians spent in emergency rooms was 2 hours, 52 minutes last year — the longest in a steady increase from pre-pandemic times, according to the latest Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data.

Why it matters: Time spent in the ER is a key metric for tracking hospital performance.

  • Increasing ER visit times is an indication that a hospital may be understaffed relative to a community's needs or is facing other problems.

Zoom in: Virginians' average wait time increased from 2 hours, 45 minutes in 2021 (a pandemic year) and 2 hours, 24 minutes in 2014.

Zoom out: Washington, D.C. hospitals racked up the longest median time for ER stays in 2022, at 5 hours and 29 minutes, followed by Maryland (4 hours, 2 minutes).

  • North Dakota (1 hour, 48 minutes), South Dakota and Nebraska (1 hour, 55 minutes) had the shortest times spent in ERs.

Be smart: This data captures the length of patients' entire ER visits, not just the time spent waiting to be first seen.

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Richmond.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Richmond stories

No stories could be found

Richmondpostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Richmond.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more