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Ir Med J. 2011 Feb;104(2):47-9.

Acute medical assessment units: an efficient alternative to in-hospital acute medical care.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Dooradoyle, Limerick. michael.watts@hse.ie

Abstract

Acute Medical Assessment Units (AMAUs) are being proposed as an alternative to congested Emergency Departments (EDs for the assessment of patients with a range of acute medical problems. We retrospectively reviewed the discharge destination of patients referred to a newly established AMAU during a six-month period. During the same period we contrasted activity in the ED for a similar group of patients. 1,562 patients were assessed in the AMAU. 196 (12.5%) were admitted to an in-patient bed and 1,148 (73.5%) were entered into specific diagnosis-driven out-patient pathways. 1,465 patients attended the ED and 635 (43.3%) were admitted. Out-patient alternatives to expensive in-patient care need to be provided at the 'coal face" of acute referral. The AMAU provides this, and as a consequence admission rates are relatively low. This is achieved by directly communicating with GPs, accessing senior clinical decision makers, and providing immediate access to diagnostically driven outpatient pathways.

PMID:
21465875
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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