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Navigating Staffing Shortages and Overcrowding in Emergency Departments

By: Jenny Binner | Updated on April 25, 2024

Navigating Staffing Shortages and Overcrowding in Emergency Departments

Emergency medicine departments throughout the United States face ongoing overcrowding and underservice. Factors including financial issues, lack of Medicaid coverage and a fast-aging population contribute to the overcrowding and closure of EM and trauma centers. Patient volume and longer-than-usual wait times have only continued to increase since 2020. In 2023, over 500 available residency positions were left unfilled when, for the first time, the number of applicants was fewer than the number of available positions. 

With increased staffing shortages, the cost of staffing facilities has risen exponentially. In January 2023, the average national ED labor expense per visit was up 49.9 percent when compared to that of January 2020. Innovative solutions must be implemented and practiced to address these issues and improve patient treatment. Through staffing solutions like harnessing the advantages of Advanced Practice Providers and telehealth technology, LocumTenens.com leads the way in trusted staffing services.

With Physician shortages constraining patient care, the roles of Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants are expanding, especially in emergency medicine. Growing patient volumes have left facilities needing fast, dependable solutions to ensure uninterrupted facility operation. As the industry’s largest leading job board, LocumTenens.com works with hundreds of trusted APPs throughout an array of specialties. By taking roles in patient assessment, diagnosis and treatment while working collaboratively with existing staff, APPs fill gaps left within staffing and help advance overall facility operation.

Tele-triage services extend healthcare to patients in areas with little to no access to readily available services. It is estimated that between 13.7% and 27.1% of all ED visits in the United States could be safely managed at alternative locations, resulting in a potential annual cost savings of $4.4 billion.

With our extensive database of clinicians and our highly knowledgeable recruiters, working with LocumTenens.com means operating with a trusted partner throughout the constantly changing healthcare market. To hear more about our services and what a partnership would mean for you and your facility, contact one of our Emergency Medicine Specialists today.

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About the author

Jenny Binner, MBA, MHA

AVP of Emergency Medicine, Urgent Care, and Occupational Medicine Services

Jenny began her career at LocumTenens.com in 2017 after an extensive career in healthcare staffing, technology and management. With over 15 years of healthcare experience, Jenny brings a wealth of knowledge to role as Associate Vice President of the Emergency Medicine division. As AVP, Jenny is focused on assuring clients the very best coverage for their need for Physicians and Advanced Practice Providers in Emergency Medicine, Urgent Care, and Occupational Medicine settings.

Along with the work Jenny does leading the Emergency Medicine Division, Jenny works with LocumTenens.com's Charitable Giving committee and uses her vast healthcare background to lead and manage many of LocumTenens.com's company-wide projects and initiatives. She graduated from the University of Georgia and received her Master of Health Administration(MHA) and Master of Business Administration(MBA) from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University in 2014. She loves reading, rescuing dogs, spending time with her family, and attending her son's sporting events in her free time.