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Analysis of Emergency Department Patient-Visit Volumes in an Academic Health System During a COVID-19 Pandemic Statewide 'Safer at Home' Order. WMJ 2022 Oct;121(3):189-193



Pubmed ID


Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85140858882 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)


BACKGROUND: We describe patient-visit volumes, patient acuity, and demographics in our 4 academic health system emergency departments (ED) before, during, and after implementation of a COVID-19 pandemic safer-at-home order.

METHODS: Data were collected from the electronic health record, including patient-visit volumes, chief complaint, Emergency Severity Index (ESI), and patient demographics. Descriptive statistics were performed.

RESULTS: There was a 37% decrease in combined ED patient-visit volume during the safer-at-home order period (42% at the academic medical center). ED patient-visit volumes increased after the safer-at-home order concluded. During the safer-at-home order period, there was an increase in the proportion of ESI-2 visits and admission rates from EDs across the system.

CONCLUSIONS: Significant differences in ED patient-visit volumes and patient acuity were associated with a safer-at-home order in our academic health system. These differences are similar to experiences of other hospital systems across the country.

Author List

Wilbanks MD, Fumo N, Aranda JM, Zosel A, Rubin J, Ray J, Martin IBK


Morgan D. Wilbanks MD Assistant Professor in the Emergency Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Academic Medical Centers
Electronic Health Records
Emergency Service, Hospital
Retrospective Studies