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Int Emerg Nurs. 2013 Jul;21(3):180-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ienj.2012.08.006. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

Healthcare providers attitudes and perceptions of 'inappropriate attendance' in the Emergency Department.

Author information

1
Emergency Department, Waterford Regional Hospital, Waterford, Ireland. bernabreen@gmail.com

Abstract

Emergency Departments (EDs) worldwide are facing a crisis from overcrowding and a common perception exists that inappropriate use of the ED is a major contributing factor. Patients, who attend the ED with non-urgent problems, could be dealt with by a General Practitioner; such patients use time and resources that would otherwise be used for patients with more appropriate needs.

STUDY AIM:

To explore attitudes and perceptions of healthcare providers regarding 'inappropriate attendance' in the ED.

STUDY DESIGN:

Using a survey questionnaire, this descriptive quantitative study included ED nurses, doctors and paramedics from three regional hospitals in the Republic of Ireland.

RESULTS:

A total of 163 surveys were returned (59% response rate). There was an overwhelming agreement among respondents that inappropriate attendance in Irish ED exists and poses a considerable challenge for healthcare providers. Results suggest differences of opinion on what represents inappropriate ED use. Potential solutions to address the issue of inappropriate ED attendance include General Practitioners and Advanced Nurse Practitioners practicing within the ED setting; education and greater public awareness and faster access to a specialist opinion in the Out Patient Department.

KEYWORDS:

Accident and Emergency; Inappropriate attendance; Inappropriate attender; Non-urgent; Overcrowding

PMID:
23102921
DOI:
10.1016/j.ienj.2012.08.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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