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Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med. 2018 Sep 20;26(1):81. doi: 10.1186/s13049-018-0547-5.

Independent determinants of prolonged emergency department length of stay in a tertiary care centre: a prospective cohort study.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, Leiden University Medical Centre, Albinusdreef 2, 2300 RC, Leiden, the Netherlands.
2
Department of Internal Medicine, Leiden University Medical Centre, Albinusdreef 2, 2300 RC, Leiden, the Netherlands.
3
Department of Emergency Medicine, Leiden University Medical Centre, Albinusdreef 2, 2300 RC, Leiden, the Netherlands. b.de_groot.seh@lumc.nl.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Emergency department (ED) overcrowding is a potential threat for patient safety. We searched for independent determinants of prolonged ED length of stay (LOS) with the aim to identify factors which can be targeted to reduce ED LOS, which may help in preventing overcrowding.

METHODS:

This prospective cohort study included consecutive ED patients in a Dutch tertiary care centre. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to identify independent determinants of ED LOS > 4 h, including patient characteristics (demographics, referral type, acuity, (number of) presenting complaints and comorbidity), treating specialty, diagnostic testing, consultations, number of patients in the ED and disposition. Furthermore, we quantified the absolute time delays (measured in real-time) associated with the most important independent determinants of prolonged ED LOS.

RESULTS:

In 1434 included patients independent determinants of prolonged ED LOS were number and type of presenting complaints, specialty, laboratory/radiology testing and consultations, and ICU admission. Modifiable determinants with the largest impact were blood testing; Adjusted odds ratio (AOR (95%-CI)); 3.45 (1.95-6.11), urine testing; 1.79 (1.21-2.63), radiology imaging; 3.02 (2.13-4.30), and consultation; 5.90 (4.08-8.54). Combined with the laboratory/radiology testing and/or consultations (requested in 1123 (78%) patients) the decision-making and discharge process consumed between 74 (42%) and 117 (66%) minutes of the total ED LOS of 177 (IQR: 129-225) minutes.

CONCLUSIONS:

In tertiary care EDs, ED LOS can be reduced if the process of laboratory/radiology testing and consulting is optimized and the decision-making and discharge procedures are accelerated.

KEYWORDS:

Emergency department; Emergency department length of stay; Overcrowding

PMID:
30236125
PMCID:
PMC6148782
DOI:
10.1186/s13049-018-0547-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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