The Crisis Unveiled: Emergency Room Overcrowding in Pennsylvania

By: Sara Hussey, ACMS Executive Director

Emergency rooms (ERs) are the frontline of healthcare, providing critical care when people need it most. However, across Pennsylvania, a silent crisis is unfolding – emergency room overcrowding. This pressing issue affects not only the quality of care but also the lives of countless individuals seeking immediate medical attention. 

Earlier this summer, The Pennsylvania Medical Society created the Emergency Department Overcrowding Task Force.  PAMED’s Emergency Department Overcrowding Task Force is made up of physicians across the state, with representatives ranging in specialty from emergency medicine to addiction medicine and psychiatry. One of the first things that this task force tackled was the creation of a letter to Governor Shapiro, signed by several organizations including the Allegheny County Medical Society, asking him to create a statewide taskforce to address this issue.

Emergency room overcrowding is a critical issue that demands immediate attention in Pennsylvania. It threatens the quality of care, impacts patient outcomes, and places an undue burden on healthcare workers. By addressing the root causes and implementing proactive solutions, Pennsylvania can move towards a healthcare system that is more efficient, accessible, and responsive to the needs of its residents.

You can read the letter to Governor Shapiro here. If you are PAMED member and want to learn more about what members of the PAMED Emergency Department Overcrowding Task Force are saying, visit PAMED’s website to read more (member login required).