Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Recalibrating the four hour target

Recalibrating the four hour target: is it going to help?

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 29 October 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6234
  1. Georgina E White, foundation year 2 doctor,
  2. Oliver T Cole, foundation year 2 doctor
  1. Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester DT1 2JY, UK
  1. georginaelizabethwhite{at}

If, as Kar suggests,1 you look at the four hour target—which says that 95% of patients attending emergency departments should be admitted, transferred, or discharged within four hours—as purely a performance indicator then it shows that despite superhuman effort, clever ideas, and careful coding most emergency departments simply can’t keep up with the volume and complexity of patients. The …

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