Average ER waiting time nears one hour, CDC says

AP/Yahoo News, August 6, 2008

The average time that hospital emergency rooms patients wait to see a doctor has grown from about 38 minutes to almost an hour over the past decade, according to statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The increase is due to supply and demand, said Stephen Pitts, MD, the lead author of the report. Overall, about 119 million visits were made to U.S. emergency rooms in 2006, up from 90 million in 1996. Meanwhile, the number of hospital emergency departments dropped to fewer than 4,600, from nearly 4,900.


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