Rural Emergency Department Staffing: Implications for the Quality of Emergency Care Provided in Rural Areas

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2005
Project completed:
February 2007
This project will describe emergency department (ED) staffing patterns of rural hospitals in different regions of the country; determine how the certification, training, and experience of ED physicians and other providers in different ED staffing models vary; and assess the implications of rural ED staffing for the quality of emergency care in rural areas, continuity of care, and rural EDs' role as safety net providers.

The project includes collection of primary data from a phone survey of a national sample of rural hospitals, analysis of the survey data in conjunction with secondary data from the AHA Annual Survey and Area Resource File, and interviews of health policy staff in several key states with significant rural populations regarding state initiatives related to ED staffing.