HCN News & Notes

Study Reports Massachusetts Has Nation’s Second-longest ER Waiting Times

MASSACHUSETTS — Maryland is the state with the longest ER waiting time, according to a new study conducted by Med.ro, which analyzed average waiting times from when patients arrive at the emergency room to when they are called in to be treated. Massachusetts ranks second on the list.

In Maryland, patients have to wait, on average, 239 minutes before being called to get treated, about 4 hours. This is despite Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, the largest medical center in the state with 1,162 beds, ranking first in Maryland and fifth in the nation on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals 2022-23 Honor Roll. The hospital’s emergency room is undergoing renovations to improve service, updating the waiting room and adding patient-care spaces.

In second place come Massachusetts and Delaware, both with an average wait of 215 minutes, or 3 hours and 35 minutes. Rhode Island is third, as the waiting time is on average 213 minutes. The long wait time can probably be attributed, among other factors, to the low number of hospitals present in the area: only 19, which, compared to the state’s population, corresponds to 17.31 hospitals per 1 million population, one of the lowest rates in the country.

Further down on the list, New York is fourth, with an average wait of 201 minutes, while the top five closes with Arizona, with 195 minutes of wait on average.

On the other side of the list, North Dakota has the shortest waiting time, as citizens must wait, on average, only 108 minutes in the emergency room before getting treatment, corresponding to 1 hour and 48 minutes. North Dakota is followed by Nebraska and South Dakota, whose respective waiting times are 114 and 116 minutes.

“Long wait times in American emergency rooms are a pressing issue that demands attention and action,” said Dr. Vlad Dobrescu, CEO of Med.ro. “American citizens must be given better access to timely medical care when they need it most, also considering the costs that often come with it.”