General Characteristics and Activity of Emergency Department Short-Stay Units in Spanish Hospitals.

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General Characteristics and Activity of Emergency Department Short-Stay Units in Spanish Hospitals.

J Emerg Med. 2017 Mar 05;:

Authors: Ferré C, Llopis F, Martín-Sánchez FJ, Sempere G, Llorens P, Navarro C, Martínez-Ortiz M, Juan A, “REGICE” Study Group

BACKGROUND: Emergency Department (ED) overcrowding mainly due to the lack of access to inpatient beds negatively affects safety and quality of care. Implementation of ED short-stay units (EDSSUs) may help to mitigate this situation.
OBJECTIVES: To describe the general characteristics and evaluate the activity of EDSSUs in Spanish hospitals.
METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study. A questionnaire was sent to coordinators responsible for the EDSSUs identified among Spanish hospitals appearing on the Ministry of Health Web page. Data regarding structure, caseloads, and clinical management practices were collected.
RESULTS: Among the 591 hospitals surveyed, 35 EDSSUs (5.9%) were identified and 23 participated in the study. Admissions to EDSSUs over different periods in 2011 were assessed: 12-month activity in 17 EDSSUs and between 5 and 10.5 months in six EDSSUs. A total of 25,568 patients with a mean age of 67.2 ± 9.8 years were admitted, representing between 6% and 16.3% of hospital admissions from the ED. The most frequent diagnoses were acute heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation, and urinary and respiratory tract infections. The average length of stay (LOS) was 2.6 ± 1.1 days (range 1.2-5.3), in-hospital mortality 0.59% (range 0-2.68), and the 30-day readmission rate after discharge was 6.7% (range 0-14.6).
CONCLUSIONS: To date, only a few Spanish hospitals have implemented EDSSUs. Prevalent infections and exacerbation of chronic conditions are the most frequent causes for admission. Considering LOS, 30-day readmission rate and mortality, EDSSUs appear to be safe and effective and might be considered a tool to alleviate ED overcrowding.

PMID: 28274646 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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