In this case report, we discuss the design, administration, and analysis of a survey-based approach to better understand factors leading nonemergent patients to seek emergency department care, contributing to crowding. We review the relevant literature discussing the utility of patient surveys in the emergency department. The process for developing our survey instrument is described in detail from initial inception, obtaining institutional review board approval to implementation. We discuss challenges faced in obtaining and analyzing the 1,108 surveys collected during a 3-week period. Common roadblocks during survey collection are detailed, and we discuss procedures used to overcome them. With any survey-based approach, it is important to be cognizant of limitations and biases including missing eligible patients, providers unwilling to let research assistants approach patients, and reporting bias. We discuss our approach to mitigating these limiting factors.