Emergency department of a university hospital: who is admitted and who is transferred?
Eur J Emerg Med. 2013 Aug;20(4):256-62
Authors: Troude P, Laribi S, Maillard G, Plaisance P, Segouin C
OBJECTIVES: Our main aim was to describe the path of patients seen in our emergency department (ED) and either admitted or transferred and to compare the characteristics of patients hospitalized in our hospital with those of transferred patients. Our secondary aim was to compare the receipts linked to patient hospital stays.
POPULATION AND METHODS: All patients seen in the ED of our hospital and ill enough to be either admitted or transferred were prospectively enrolled during 2 consecutive weeks. Information was obtained from the hospital discharge report and from local medical databases. The characteristics of the patients and receipts were compared according to their path.
RESULTS: Among the 251 patients included in the study, 9% were transferred directly from the ED to another hospital. Among admitted patients, two-thirds were admitted to the short-stay unit (SSU). Schematically, patients transferred from the ED are more likely to be men around 50 years of age with few comorbidities, requiring surgery with relatively short hospital stays. Patients transferred from the SSU were more likely to be women around 67 years of age with severe comorbidities requiring medical care and longer stays. The mean receipt per day was two to three times greater for patients transferred from the ED as compared with patients hospitalized in our hospital. The mean receipt per day for patients transferred from the SSU also tended to be higher.
CONCLUSION: Our results show that patients requiring shorter care are transferred, whereas more severe patients are hospitalized on site. Hospitals will need solutions to optimize their receipts while fulfilling their public missions such as continuity of care.
PMID: 22810851 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]