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J Emerg Med. 2007 Aug;33(2):155-9. Epub 2007 Jun 18.

The effects of minimizing ambulance diversion hours on emergency departments.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, San Diego Medical Center, San Diego, California, USA.


This study explores the effects of minimizing Emergency Department (ED) bypass on individual hospital's ED census, ambulance transports, and admissions. Five hospitals in a geographic area collected data over 3 weeks. The first and third week represented controls, whereas the second week hospitals minimized their usage of bypass. Data collected included hours on bypass, ED census, ambulance runs, hospital admissions, and inter-facility transfers. The total number of hours on bypass for all hospitals for pre-trial, trial, and post-trial weeks were 112.2, 0.3, and 47, respectively. There were several statistical shifts in the proportion of ambulance runs and admissions seen by individual hospitals. Clinically, these shifts in patients were minor and within ED capacity. Hospitals in a given geographic area may successfully reduce the number of hours on bypass with possible minor shifting in the number of ambulance runs and admissions that are within ED capacity.

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