Emergency Departments

Enables more rapid clinical decision making in the process of diagnosis, (rule-in or rule-out), treatment choice and monitoring, and prognosis, as well as operational decision making and resource utilization.

  • There were 5,273 US EDs for the year 2015.[i]
  • Over half of the 35.4 million annual inpatient admissions in the United States begin in the emergency department (ED).[ii]
  • The ED is a health care setting where patients receive care for a variety of circumstances, including life-threatening emergencies, acute illness and injury, and complications associated with chronic conditions.[iii]
  • EDs also provide care for nonurgent situations, serving as an alternative to primary care.
  • There were 136.9 million ED visits in the United States in 2015.[iv]


[i] 2015 National Emergency Room Inventory- USA: http://www.emnet-usa.org/nedi/nedi_usa.html
[ii] Moore BJ (IBM Watson Health), Stocks C (AHRQ), Owens PL (AHRQ). Trends in Emergency Department Visits, 2006–2014. HCUP Statistical Brief #227. September 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb227-Emergency-Department-VisitTrends.pdf
[iii] National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2007. Hospital-Based Emergency Care: At a Breaking Point. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
[iv] CDC. National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2015 Emergency Department Summary Tables. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhamcs/web_tables/2015_ed_web_tables.pdf.