Association between patients' body mass index and emergency department wait times: A multicenter observational cohort investigation by the reducing disparities increasing equity in emergency medicine (REDEEM) study group

Isabella M. Lichen, Venkatesh Bellamkonda, Ronna L. Campbell, Sean M. Phelan, Joel R. Anderson, Aidan F. Mullan, Kit Knier, Annie T. Sadosty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Numerous studies have demonstrated evidence of obesity bias in healthcare settings, however, little is known about obesity bias in the Emergency Department (ED). The objective of this study was to investigate obesity bias in an ED setting by assessing the association between body mass index (BMI) and door-to-room (DTR) or door-to-provider (DTP) times among ED patients. Methods: We conducted an observational cohort study of all adult patient (age ≥ 18 years of age) visits to 21 Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System EDs between November 1, 2018 and March 31, 2020. We compared DTR and DTP times based on BMI category. Results: We found that median DTR and DTP times for adults with class 3 obesity are significantly shorter than patients in the normal weight category. For men with class 3 obesity, median DTR and DTP times were 7.5% and 5.4% shorter than men in the normal weight category. Relative to women in the normal weight category, the median DTR and DTP times were 4.6% and 3.8% faster for women in obesity class 1, 4.9% and 5.1% faster for women in obesity class 2, and DTR was 4.4% faster for women in obesity class 3. These percentage differences translated to slightly shorter wait times of 0.4–1.2 min compared to median wait times for patients with normal BMI. Conclusion: We did not find evidence of longer wait times experienced by people with obesity. Rather, patients with obesity often experienced wait times that were shorter than patients of normal weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-184
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Volume49
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Emergency department
  • Obesity
  • Stigma
  • Time factors
  • Weight bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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