A descriptive study of emergency department visits within 30 days of discharge

Link to article at PubMed

Ann Geriatr Med Res. 2021 Oct 25. doi: 10.4235/agmr.21.0075. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Unnecessary emergency department (ED) visits are a crucial consideration in discharge planning for acutely admitted patients. This study aimed to identify the reasons for unnecessary visits to the ED within 30 days of discharge from a medical hospitalist unit.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective review of patients discharged in 2018 from a medical unit of tertiary teaching hospital in Korea. The authors discussed in-depth and determined whether or not an ED visit was unnecessary, and further classified the causes of unnecessary visits into three categories.

RESULTS: The mean age of the patients was 62.9 years (range, 15-99 years), and among the 1,343 patients discharged from the unit, 720 (53.6%) were men. Overall, 215 patients (16.0%) visited the ED within 30 days after discharge; among them, 16.4% were readmitted. Of the 215 cases of ED visits within 30 days after discharge, 57 (26.5%) were considered unnecessary. Of these, 30 (52.6%) were categorized as having failed care transition, 15 (26.3%) had unestablished care plans for predictable issues, and 12 (21.1%) had insufficient patient education.

CONCLUSION: A substantial number of short-term ED visits by discharged multimorbid or older medical patients were considered unnecessary. Discharging patients with a thorough discharge plan is essential to avoid unnecessary ED visiits.

PMID:34689542 | DOI:10.4235/agmr.21.0075

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