PAMED Meets with Pennsylvania Stakeholders to Address ED Overcrowding

Last Updated: Jun 6, 2024

On Monday, PAMED leaders, Kristen Sandel, MD and Andrew Lutzkanin, III, MD along with PAMED CEO, Martin Raniowski, were thrilled to participate in a solution-focused stakeholder meeting addressing ED Overcrowding hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. This meeting comes after PAMED’s Task Force on ED Overcrowding sought support from Governor Josh Shapiro for governmental assistance in tackling this enormous challenge within the healthcare community.

Pennsylvania’s Acting Secretary of Health, Dr. Debra Bogen said, “Overcrowding in emergency departments impacts quality of care, patient safety, patient and family satisfaction as well as staff burnout. At this first meeting, we heard different perspectives on the reasons for overcrowding, how it impacts or is impacted by other areas of the healthcare system, and some innovative potential solutions. I truly appreciated the eagerness I heard from all involved to work together toward solutions."

The meeting brought together partners across the health care system including The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania and groups representing patients, EMS providers, long term care providers, and various government entities, among others.

Dr. Sandel said, “ED boarding and overcrowding has been known as a crisis in the emergency medicine community but unfortunately has only worsened over the past few decades despite the various efforts to improve the problem.   With the work done by PAMED’s ED Overcrowding Task Force as well as recent collaboration with the PA Department of Health, Hospital Association of PA, and multiple other vital stakeholders, I am confident that we can work together to find reasonable and effective solutions to this important issue affecting nearly everyone in the commonwealth."

Dr. Lutzkanin said, "The stakeholder collaborations allow PAMED to take a leadership role in solving a huge problem for our members and our patients. It is an opportunity to work directly with those groups and government agencies that will allow us to make meaningful change." 

The meeting identified key areas in which the stakeholders will work in workgroups and focus on the core issues of each area and identify a solution. The areas are:

  • EMS/Prehospital Care
  • Healthcare Workforce
  • In-hospital Barriers/Challenges
  • Pediatrics
  • Primary Care
  • Social Determinants of Health/Health Literacy
  • Transfer to External Facilities (Long term care, behavioral health)

Dr. Bogen said, “Our next steps are to break into work groups to identify issues and consider a myriad of strategies that span legislation, regulatory reform, health system process changes, and others – and then bring those ideas back to the larger group to prioritize and develop implementation strategies. This work requires many partners, so we deeply appreciate co-leadership with the Pennsylvania Medical Society and the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.”           

PAMED is grateful for Governor Shapiro, Acting Secretary of Health, Dr. Debra Bogen, Executive Deputy Secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Kristen Rodack, and all of the stakeholders and looks forward to working collaboratively on solutions moving forward. As these solutions take shape, PAMED will continue to keep members up to date on our work to reduce the pressure on emergency departments in Pennsylvania. 

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