Unplanned return visits to emergency in a regional hospital.
Aust Health Rev. 2012 Aug;36(3):336-41
Authors: Kirby SE, Dennis SM, Jayasinghe UW, Harris MF
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the patient characteristics associated with unplanned return visits, using routinely collected hospital data, to assist in developing strategies to reduce their occurrence.
METHODS: Emergency department data from a regional hospital were analysed using univariate and multivariate methods to determine the influence of clinical, service usage and demographic patient characteristics on unplanned return visits.
RESULTS: Around 80% of the 16000 patients attending emergency presented on only one occasion in a year. Five per cent of patients presented with an unplanned return visit. Older patients, those with minor and low urgency conditions and with non-psychotic mental health conditions, those presenting during winter and after hours were significantly more likely to present as unplanned return visits.
CONCLUSION: Although patient characteristics associated with unplanned return visits have been identified, the reasons underpinning the unplanned return visit rate, such as patient service preference and attitudes, need to be more fully investigated.
PMID: 22935128 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]