Wait times at emergency departments are increasing. This is why.

Rising COVID-19 cases and the start of flu season have hospitals and urgent care centers struggling to keep up with an influx of patients. That’s leading to long wait times for emergency room care.

According to Medicare data, patients are spending an average of 175 minutes getting care in emergency rooms at “very high-volume” hospitals across the country. 

In Delaware, the average length of time in those ERs is 199 minutes.

Medicare collects data on the average time patients spend in emergency room visits. That includes wait time and emergency care before a patient is discharged or transferred. 

Hospitals ERs are classified by the volume of patients cared for annually:

  • Very high-volume, 60,000 plus patients, average Delaware time: 175 minutes
  • High volume, 40,000-59,999 patients annually, average Delaware time: 189 minutes
  • Medium volume, 20,000-39,999 patients annually, average Delaware time: 199 minutes
St. Francis Hospital emergency room

Here are the times for Delaware hospitals:

Christiana Hospital, Stanton

Average time: 219 minutes

Volume: Very high

St. Francis Hospital, Wilmington

Average time: 168 minutes

Volume: not available

Nemours Children’s Hospital, Rockland

Average time: not available

Volume: not available

Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus

Average time: 181 minutes

Volume:  Very high

Beebe Medical Center, Lewes

Average time: 189 minutes

Volume: High has a current wait time of 189 minutes

Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus

Average time: 173 minutes

Volume: Medium

Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, Seaford

Average time: 221 minutes

Volume: Medium

COVID cases:COVID-19 hospitalizations are now over 300 in Delaware, a high not seen since February

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