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Eur J Emerg Med. 2004 Feb;11(1):29-34.

Reduced length of stay in medical emergency department patients: a prospective controlled study on emergency physician staffing.

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Medical Emergency Department, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.



Patients, emergency department staff and hospital managers are often confronted with a prolonged length of stay of emergency department patients, with resulting overcrowding in the emergency department. We hypothesized that additional medical personnel would reduce the length of stay.


We prospectively studied consecutive patients managed in a medical emergency department by internal medicine residents during the evening shift. Data were collected on patients managed before (n=200) and after (n=160) the addition of a second physician on the shift.


The addition of a physician in the busy evening shift decreased the length of stay from 176+/-137 to 141+/-86 min (mean+/-SD, P=0.012) for outpatients discharged after evaluation and management in the emergency department. The length of stay for emergency department inpatients admitted for hospitalization was not significantly reduced.


An additional physician significantly reduced the length of stay of medical emergency department outpatients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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