Abstract

The twin challenges of bed boarding and "hallway medicine" have emerged in recent years as key healthcare issues. Many hospitals, challenged with increasing demand and limited resources, have tried to find efficiencies within their operations. One such strategy is that of early morning discharges and expedited bed turnaround times. We conducted a retrospective study within three high-volume hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area looking at discharge times of in-patients and transfer times of admitted, Emergency Department (ED)-boarded patients. We discovered a consistent pattern of late-in-the-day discharges, and even later-in-the-day transfers of boarded ED patients, indicating that this may be a potential source of increased efficiency for overburdened hospitals.