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ACEP, Urgent Matters Tackle ED Overcrowding

WASHINGTON D.C. -- The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)is collaborating with Urgent Matters, a public health initiative at the Center for Health Care Quality at The George Washington University Medical Center School of Public Health and Health Services, to research and disseminate best practices for improving patient flow in emergency departments(http://www.urgentmatters.org/).

"Urgent Matters has a long, distinguished history of promoting strategies hospitals and health care professionals can use to reduce crowding and improve quality in emergency departments," said David Seaberg, MD, FACEP, president of ACEP. "With ER visits continuing to rise every year while the number of emergency departments shrinks, the time is ripe for our organizations to team up to better serve our patients."

ACEP will promote and distribute Urgent Matters research, tools and educational materials focused on improving patient flow through the emergency department. Future webinar topics include care coordination and behavioral health. Newsletters will focus on emergency department crowding, behavioral health and workforce issues.

"We look forward to the joint development of an editorial board that will help direct the distribution of the newsletters, a webinar series and tools to help hospitals reduce wait times and crowding," said Dr. Seaberg. "Everyone has the potential to become an emergency patient at some point, which is why ACEP and Urgent Matters are dedicated to advancing emergency care."

Other organizations represented on Urgent Matters' editorial board include: the Emergency Nurses Association, the Emergency Medicine Patient Safety Foundation, the National Association of Emergency Medicine Physicians, the American Osteopathic Association, the Society for Emergency Medicine Physician's Assistants, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Academy of Physician Assistants.

"The partnership with ACEP and other editorial board organizations will be vital in sustaining Urgent Matters over the long term, enhancing the value of our content and ensuring it's disseminated broadly," said Jesse M. Pines, MD, MBA, FACEP, the 2012-3 chair of the Urgent Matters editorial board. Dr. Pines is also an associate professor of emergency medicine and health policy at George Washington University, which serves as the national program office for Urgent Matters.

"Our goal is for Urgent Matters to bring together providers; emergency care is a team sport," said Dr. Pines. "The issues of emergency care impact all its stakeholder, including physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and nurse practioners, and it is important to have a platform to participate together. I am delighted we have joined forces with ACEP in making this goal a reality."

Urgent Matters has been funded continuously by the the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation since 2002.

ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.

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