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Catherine Marco


Objective: Emergency department (ED) patients may choose to leave prior to physician evaluation, elope during treatment, or leave against medical advice during treatment. This study was performed to identify the reasons why patients left the ED before completing treatment. Methods: This prospective study was conducted at Miami Valley Hospital, an urban level 1 trauma center. This study identified ED patients who left before completing treatment, including those who left without being seen (LWBS), eloped during treatment, or left against medical advice (AMA), from September to December of 2018. This project included a chart review and a prospective patient telephone survey.

Results: A total of 68 patients (23% of the overall subjects) responded to the telephone interview survey. Patients identified multiple reasons for not completing treatment in the ED. The most frequently reported reasons were wait time (23%), expectations not being met (23%), and having a negative interaction with ED staff (15%).

Conclusions: Patients who left the ED without completing treatment cited reasons including wait time, expectations not being met, and having a negative interaction with ED staff.