Hospital Emergency Care

One measure of hospital performance is how long patients stay in the hospital emergency department (ED) before being admitted to the hospital or sent home (i.e., ED wait time). Maryland monitors ED throughput1 measures such as ‘wait times’ because this is an important factor in properly addressing a patient’s medical condition.  Wait times can also have an impact on overall patient satisfaction. 

The image below provides the most recent comparison of average wait times between Maryland hospitals and the nation. To view individual hospital ED wait times, click on the Emergency Department tab to the right.

One way to avoid long wait times is to only use the ED when it’s a true emergency. Patients seeking care also have the option of visiting urgent care centers.  These centers can be freestanding and are sometimes located within retail stores or pharmacies.  Urgent care facilities can deal with less critical health issues, such as colds, rashes, sprains, or superficial wounds.  If you decide to visit an urgent care center, you should call ahead to ensure that they offer care for your specific medical needs and that your insurance will be accepted. For more information about emergency versus urgent care, click here.

1. ED throughput refers to non-clinical measures that capture patient flow. ED throughput measures include: arrival to departure time for admitted and discharged patients, decision to admit time, door-to-diagnostic evaluation time, and left before being seen time. For more, visit: