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Emergency Department Boarding Crisis in the US: Leveraging Telemedicine as a Promising Solution

By: | Tags: , , , , , , , | May 9th, 2024

Virtual care overcomes staggering ED boundaries

Emergency department (ED) boarding has persisted as a longstanding and pressing issue within the United States healthcare system. However, the recent upheavals triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic have catapulted it to the forefront of national public health concerns. ED boarding occurs when admitted patients are held in the emergency department, often in hallways, while awaiting an available inpatient bed. This practice not only strains already stretched resources and impacts patient care but also contributes to significant public dissatisfaction and potentially harmful outcomes.

A recent poll conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and Morning Consult revealed alarming statistics:

  • 43% of US adults expressed that they would delay or avoid emergency care due to concerns associated with ED boarding
  • 44% of respondents reported personal experiences or experiences of loved ones enduring prolonged waits in the emergency department before being admitted or transferred
  • 16% of respondents reported enduring wait times of 13 hours or more

The underlying factors fueling ED boarding are multifaceted, encompassing a spectrum of issues such as a scarcity of physicians, rampant staff burnout, chronic hospital overcrowding, and the perennial challenge of demands outstripping available resources. The compounding impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these existing strains, resulting in staffing shortages and a surge in behavioral health conditions, further amplifying the boarding crisis.

In response to this pressing issue, telemedicine has emerged as a promising solution. Telemedicine allows physicians to remotely consult, diagnose, and treat patients, offering timely medical assistance without the constraints of physical proximity.

How TeleSpecialists Can Help

As a leading telemedicine provider, TeleSpecialists is at the forefront of addressing the ED boarding crisis through our TeleNeurology and TelePsychiatry services. With nearly 200 physicians available 24/7/365, we conduct over 24,000 consults monthly, providing critical support to emergency departments nationwide.

One key advantage of telemedicine is its ability to connect patients with specialists rapidly. We ensure that our board-certified neurologists are on-screen with patients in under 3 minutes to provide timely assessments and treatment recommendations. Similarly, our psychiatrists are available for consultation in under 17 minutes, facilitating prompt interventions for behavioral health-related emergencies.

By leveraging telemedicine, emergency departments can alleviate the strain of boarding by accessing specialist expertise promptly, reducing wait times, and improving patient outcomes. Additionally, telemedicine helps to optimize resource utilization and mitigate the impact of staffing shortages on patient care.

See How We Can Be Your Solution

The boarding crisis in US emergency departments is a complex issue that demands innovative solutions. Telemedicine, with its capacity to provide timely and expert medical care remotely, offers a promising avenue for addressing this crisis and improving the delivery of emergency services to patients nationwide.

We invite all facilities, especially those dealing with the repercussions of ED boarding, to contact us today to learn how our transformative telemedicine services can alleviate these challenges. Let us help you on a journey towards a more streamlined and effective approach to emergency care delivery.

Nattasha Acevedo, MD

Dr. Acevedo received her medical degree from the Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico and did her neurology residency at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. She went on to do a clinical neurophysiology fellowship at Emory School of Medicine in Atla nta, Georgia and then joined private practice in Fort Myers, Florida. She currently resides in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She likes running, paddle boarding and spending time with family.

Bernadette Borte, MD

Dr. Borte received her medical degree from St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine in Grand Cayman. She completed her neurology residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa. Her areas of interest include inpatient neurology and acute stroke. When not working, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family. Dr. Borte joined the TeleSpecialist family in March of 2019.

Mazen Almidani, MD

Dr. Almidani is board certified in pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics and board certified in epilepsy, as well as neurology with special  qualification in child neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.  Dr. Almidani is happily married with 4 children. His oldest son has autism and his daughter has complicated seizures; both were a drive for him to become a neurologist. Dr. Almidani enjoys soccer, running and spending time with his family. He is very involved with his sons’ therapy and helping with daily challenges. He is double board certified in Pediatric and Adult Neurology and Epilepsy. He sees children and adults. He also participates in charities for children in Syria who may be underprivileged and/or affected by the war. Dr. Almidani joined TeleSpecialists in August 2020.

Amanda Cheshire, MD

Dr. Cheshire received her medical degree from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Louisville, Kentucky. She completed her neurology residency at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. She did a fellowship in neurophysiology at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. Cheshire is double board certified in neurology and clinical neurophysiology. She enjoys traveling, reading and music. She currently resides in Viera, Florida.  Dr. Cheshire joined TeleSpecialists in June 2019.

Jessica Floyd, MD

Dr. Floyd completed her neurology residency at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida followed by fellowship training in clinical neurophysiology with focus in EEG and epilepsy at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. She has particular interest in hospital neurology and patient education as well as the blossoming specialty of lifestyle medicine. She strives to take advantage of every encounter with patients and medical staff to empower them to do their own research into how daily thoughts, choices, and habits can add up to create greater and longer-lasting brain and neurologic health for ourselves and our loved ones. She lives in Florence, South Carolina with her awesome husband of 13 plus years and three beautiful children. She is an avid yogi, astrologer, and lover of food and all things neurology! Dr. Floyd joined the TeleSpecialist family in July 2017.

Nancy Futrell, MD

Dr. Futrell received her medical degree from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. She also did her neurology residency at the University of Utah as well as a research fellowship in cerebral vascular disease at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. She currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has authored 2 books and 50 peer reviewed papers. 

Rebecca Jimenez-Sanders, MD

Dr. Jimenez Sanders received her undergraduate degree from Emory University, and her medical degree from the San Juan Bautista School of Medicine in Puerto Rico. She completed her neurology residency at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, where she also did a specialized headache medicine and facial pain fellowship. She currently resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband and her two daughters. She is also fluent in Spanish and Italian languages, and enjoys photography, baking, boating, and biking.

Cory Lamar, MD

Dr. Lamar received his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. He completed his internship and residency at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Following residency, he completed a clinical fellowship in neurophysiology, with a concentration in epilepsy. He currently resides in Florida and enjoys outdoor activities.

Clifford Meyers, MD

Dr. Meyers received his medical degree from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and his MBA from the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. He completed his neurology residency at the University of Rochester, where he also did a neurophysiology fellowship. Dr. Meyers resides in Webster, New York with his wife and daughter. When not doing teleneurology, he enjoys playing sports with his wife and daughter.

Tao Tong, MD

Dr. Tong received her medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Florida. She completed her neurology residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, where she also did a neuromuscular/EMG fellowship.  She currently resides in College Station, Texas. Dr. Tong is married with two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and reading.

Shubhangi Chumble, MD

Dr. Chumble attended BJ Medical School. She is a board certified neurologist with a subspeciality interest in sleep medicine. Dr. Chumble did her residency at Howard University in Washington DC and has practiced neurology since 2001 in private and corporate settings. She lives in Melbourne, Florida and loves the sunshine state. Her hobbies include yoga, meditation, cooking , traveling and meeting new people. She also loves to do stained glass, pottery and painting. She joined TeleSpecialists in June 2019.