Cancer Patients in the Emergency Department: A "Nightmare" that Might Become a Virtuous Clinical Pathway.
Anticancer Res. 2018 Nov;38(11):6387-6391
Authors: Legramante JM, Pellicori S, Magrini A, Frittelli T, Formica V, Roselli M
BACKGROUND/AIM: Emergency departments (EDs) often face overcrowding issues while simultaneously confronting with the increasing clinical needs of patients, such as cancer patients, with both acute and chronic illnesses. In order to guarantee a prompt and specialized treatment of ED-attending cancer patients and reduce inappropriate inpatient admissions, a dedicated ED cancer pathway (EDCP) consisting of ED-bound Medical Oncology (MO) resident doctor and direct admission for candidate patients exclusively to the MO division was established at the Tor Vergata University Hospital in April 2015.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Consecutive cancer patients attending the ED in two reference three-month periods were enrolled: pre-EDCP period, from 1st October 2014 to 31st December 2014, and post-EDCP period, from 1st October 2014 to 31st December 2015. Inpatient admission rate, mortality rate and both ED and inpatient length of stay were compared between the two analyzed periods, pre- and post-EDCP.
RESULTS: In the pre- and post-EDCP periods 127 and 123 cancer patients, respectively, were included. Most of the analyzed indicators were improved by EDCP implementation: Inpatient admission rate from 70% to 41% (p<0.0001), ED mortality rate from 10-4% (p=0.04), mean ED length of stay, from 58 to 42 h (p=0.03), mean inpatient length of stay, from 15.5 to 6.5 days (p<0.0001), in the pre- and post-EDCp period, respectively.
CONCLUSION: EDCP implementation led to a significant improvement of health care delivery to cancer patients attending the Emergency Department.
PMID: 30396962 [PubMed - in process]