Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Emergency Medicine International
Volume 2012, Article ID 838610, 8 pages
Review Article

Emergency Department Crowding: Time for Interventions and Policy Evaluations

1Emergency Department, Cambridge University Foundation Hospitals NHS Trust, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, UK
2Engineering Design Centre, Cambridge University, Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK
3Emergency Department, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Derriford Road, Crownhill, Plymouth, Devon PL6 8DH, UK
4Emergency Department, St John Regional Hospital, New Brunswick, Canada

Received 13 September 2011; Accepted 13 October 2011

Academic Editor: Walter Mauritz

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Boyle et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper summarises the consequences of emergency department crowding. It provides a comparison of the scales used to measure emergency department crowding. We discuss the multiple causes of crowding and present an up-to-date literature review of the interventions that reduce the adverse consequences of crowding. We consider interventions at the level of an individual hospital and a policy level.