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Comparison of Actual and Predicted Emergency Department Wait Times


Patient dissatisfaction and elopements from overcrowded emergency department (ED) waiting rooms are becoming increasingly common. Previous studies suggest that patients leaving an ED before being seen by a physician presents a legitimate safety concern. Predicted wait times are often communicated to patients in ED waiting rooms as a customer service function and in an attempt to reduce elopements. Common methodologies used by the restaurant industry have been adopted to make these wait predictions. In this study, we compare these predicted wait times to actual wait times experienced by patients.