Table 1

International definitions of crowding

Learned societyDefinition of crowding
American College of Emergency Physicians8Crowding occurs when the identified need for emergency services exceeds available resources for patient care in the emergency department (ED), hospital, or both.
Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians9Emergency department (ED) overcrowding occurs when the demand for emergency services exceeds the ability of an emergency department to provide quality care within appropriate time frames.
Australasian College of Emergency Medicine10Emergency department overcrowding refers to the situation where emergency department function is impeded primarily because the number of patients waiting to be seen, undergoing assessment and treatment, or waiting for departure exceeds the physical bed and/or staffing capacity of the emergency department.