Emergency department capacity management: guidance

Guidance on developing a standard operating procedure to manage capacity and avoid crowding in the emergency departments.


1. Sprivulis P et al. (2006) The association between hospital overcrowding and mortality among patients admitted via Western Australian emergency departments. Medical Journal of Australia. 184(5): 208-212.

2. Richardson D (2006) Increase in patient mortality at 10 days associated with emergency department overcrowding. Medical Journal of Australia. 184(5): 213-216.

3. Sun B et al. (2012) Effect of emergency department crowding on outcomes of admitted patients. Presented as an abstract at the American College of Emergency Physicians Research Forum, October 2011, San Francisco, CA; and at the Academy Health Annual Research Meeting, June 2012, Orlando, FL.

4. Royal College of Emergency Medicine (2014) Crowding in Emergency Departments - Revised June 2014. RCEM, London ( www.rcem.ac.uk/code/document.asp?ID=6296, accessed 24 September 2015).

5. Forero R, Hillman K (2008) Access Block and Overcrowding: a Literature Review. University of New South Wales, Sydney ( www.acem.org.au/getattachment/a9b0069c-d455-4f49-9eec-fe7775e59d0b/Access-Block-2008-literature-review.aspx, accessed 24 September 2015).

6. Richardson D, Mountain D (2009) Myths versus facts in emergency department overcrowding and hospital access block. Medical Journal of Australia. 190(7): 369-374.

7. Singer A et al. (2011) The association between length of emergency department boarding and mortality. Academic Emergency Medicine. 18(12): 1324-1329.

8. Kripalani S et al. (2007) Promoting effective transitions of care at hospital discharge: a review of key issues for hospitalists. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2(5): 314-323.


Email: Alistair Pollock, Alistair.Pollock@Gov.Scot

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