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Eur J Intern Med. 2009 Sep;20(5):465-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2008.12.015. Epub 2009 Feb 4.

Hospital medicine (Part 2): what would improve acute hospital care?

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1
Department of Medicine, Nenagh Hospital, Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland. jgkellett@eircom.net

Abstract

There are so many obvious delays and inefficiencies in our traditional system of acute hospital care; it is clear that if outcomes are to be improved prompt accurate assessment immediately followed by competent and efficient treatment is essential. Early warning scores (EWS) help detect acutely ill patients who are seriously ill and likely to deteriorate. However, it is not known if any EWS has universal applicability to all patient populations. The benefit of Rapid Response Systems (RRS) such as Medical Emergency Teams has yet to be proven, possibly because doctors and nurses are reluctant to call the RRS for help. Reconfiguration of care delivery in an Acute Medical Assessment Unit has been suggested as a "proactive" alternative to the "reactive" approach of RRS. This method ensures every patient is in an appropriate and safe environment from the moment of first contact with the hospital. Further research is needed into what interventions are most effective in preventing the deterioration and/or resuscitating seriously ill patients. Although physicians expert in hospital care decrease the cost and length of hospitalization without compromising outcomes hospital care will continue to be both expensive and potentially dangerous.

PMID:
19712845
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejim.2008.12.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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