Skip Navigation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Archive print banner
2003 National Healthcare Quality Report

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

Table 3.5b: National Waiting Time, 1998-1999

Percent emergent/urgent ED visits with waiting time to see the physician of one hour or greater, United States, 1998-1999
Population group Percent Standard error
Total 11.48 0.59
0-17 11.37 0.87
18-44 12.36 0.71
45-64 11.85 0.85
65 and over 9.34 0.75
Female 11.58 0.64
Male 11.35 0.66
White 11.05 0.63
Black 13.43 0.90
Asian/Pacific 10.18 1.89
American Indian DSU DSU
Payment source
Private 11.43 0.66
Medicare 9.41 0.75
Medicaid 12.03 0.93
Uninsured 12.94 0.98
Unknown 12.54 2.05
MSA 13.48 0.70
Non-MSA 6.67 0.90

The NHAMCS ED question is "Immediacy With Which Patient Should Be Seen"

1) Unknown/no triage  (Excluded from the analysis)

2) Less than 15 minutes (Emergent)

3) 15-60 minutes  (Urgent)

4) > 1 hour - 2 hours  (Semi-urgent)

5) > 2 hours - 24 hours (Non-urgent)

Percentages presented in this table are based on the total number of visits for the variable of interest. For example, total percent is the percent of total ED visits where the waiting time for emergent or urgent care ED visits was one hour or more.  All percentages were calculated using the weighted numbers.

"Race" excludes multiple race.

DSU - Data do not meet the criteria for statistical reliability, data quality or confidentiality.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.

Table 3.5a: National Waiting Time, 1999-2000 Table 3.5c: National Waiting Time, 1997-1998

Return to Tables Appendix
Return to Contents


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care