Patient Safety Alert 31: Critical Care Patients Boarding in the Emergency Department

The AMC PSO recently convened to review the care of critically ill patients who are boarded in the Emergency Department. Experts recommend ways to recognize patient safety risks and employ mitigation strategies associated with extended boarding of patients awaiting an intensive care unit (ICU) bed.


  • Incomplete communication between EM and critical care providers
  • Lack of Quality-of-Care Measurement for Critical Care Patients Boarded in the ED
  • Unclear Critical Care Management in the ED

Learn how you can help mitigate these risks.


ICUs are often also too full to take critical care patients.

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clinicians caring for a patient in an emergency room
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Boarding of critically ill patients in the ED setting is associated with poor clinical outcomes. Find out how to improve their safety.


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