Weekend emergency department visits in Nebraska: higher utilization, lower acuity.
ABSTRACT We know very little about differences in Emergency Department (ED) utilization and acuity on weekends compared with weekdays. Understanding such differences may help elucidate the role of the ED in the health care delivery system.
To compare patterns of ED use on weekends with weekdays and analyze the differences between these two groups.
The Health Care Utilization Project (HCUP) is a national state-by-state billing database from acute-care, non-federal hospitals. Data from Nebraska in 2004 was used to compare ED-only patient visits (patients discharged home or transferred to another health care facility) and ED-admitted visits (patients admitted to the same hospital after an ED visit) for weekend vs. weekday frequency, billed charges, sex, age, and primary payer.
Of all non-admitted patients who visited the ED, 34.5% came in on weekends. This yielded ED utilization rates of 25 visits/1,000 people on weekdays and 33 visits/1,000 people on weekends, an increase of 32% on weekends. Weekend-only ED patients of all ages and payer categories were charged lower hospital facility fees than weekday-only ED patients; USD 777 vs. USD 921, respectively (p < 0.001). Weekend ED patients were less likely to be admitted and less likely to die while in the ED (2 deaths/1000 ED visits for weekend-only patients vs. 3 deaths/1000 ED visits for weekday-only [p < 0.001]).
In Nebraska, EDs care for a greater number of low-acuity patients on weekends than on weekdays. This highlights the important role EDs play within the ambulatory care delivery system.
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ABSTRACT: In this study we used national data to determine changes in the prevalence of hospital admissions for medically complex children over a 15-year period. Data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a component of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, was analyzed in 3-year increments from 1991 to 2005 to determine national trends in rates of hospitalization of children aged 8 days to 4 years with chronic conditions. Discharge diagnoses from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample were grouped into 9 categories of complex chronic conditions (CCCs). Hospitalization rates for each of the 9 CCC categories were studied both individually and in combination. Trends of children hospitalized with 2 specific disorders, cerebral palsy (CP) and bronchopulmonary dysplasia, with additional diagnoses in more than 1 CCC category were also examined. Hospitalization rates of children with diagnoses in more than 1 CCC category increased from 83.7 per 100,000 (1991-1993) to 166 per 100 000 (2003-2005) (P[r]<.001). The hospitalization rate of children with CP plus more than 1 CCC diagnosis increased from 7.1 to 10.4 per 100 000 (P=.002), whereas the hospitalization rates of children with bronchopulmonary dysplasia plus more than 1 CCC diagnosis increased from 9.8 to 23.9 per 100,000 (P<.001). Consistent increases in hospitalization rates were noted among children with diagnoses in multiple CCC categories, whereas hospitalization rates of children with CP alone have remained stable. The relative medical complexity of hospitalized pediatric patients has increased over the past 15 years.PEDIATRICS 10/2010; 126(4):638-46. DOI:10.1542/peds.2009-1658 · 5.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study analyzed meteorological, clinical and economic factors in terms of their effects on monthly ED revenue and visitor volume. Monthly data from January 1, 2005 to September 30, 2009 were analyzed. Spearman correlation and cross-correlation analyses were performed to identify the correlation between each independent variable, ED revenue, and visitor volume. Autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model was used to quantify the relationship between each independent variable, ED revenue, and visitor volume. The accuracies were evaluated by comparing model forecasts to actual values with mean absolute percentage of error. Sensitivity of prediction errors to model training time was also evaluated. The ARIMA models indicated that mean maximum temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, non-trauma, and trauma visits may correlate positively with ED revenue, but mean minimum temperature may correlate negatively with ED revenue. Moreover, mean minimum temperature and stock market index fluctuation may correlate positively with trauma visitor volume. Mean maximum temperature, relative humidity and stock market index fluctuation may correlate positively with non-trauma visitor volume. Mean maximum temperature and relative humidity may correlate positively with pediatric visitor volume, but mean minimum temperature may correlate negatively with pediatric visitor volume. The model also performed well in forecasting revenue and visitor volume.Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine 12/2011; 2011:395690. DOI:10.1155/2011/395690 · 1.02 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The use of ambulances for low-acuity medical complaints depletes emergency medical services (EMS) resources that could be used for higher-acuity conditions and contributes to emergency department (ED) overcrowding and ambulance diversion. Objective. We sought to understand the characteristics of patients who use ambulances for low-acuity conditions. We hypothesized that patients who arrive to the ED by ambulance for low-acuity conditions are more likely to be members of vulnerable populations. A secondary analysis was performed on the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS). We included only patients aged 18 years or older who were triaged to the "nonurgent" category upon presentation to the ED. To compare patients who arrived by ambulance with those who arrived by all other modes, multivariate logistic regression was performed using a generalized linear model, and adjusted relative risks (ARRs) were calculated. A total of 16,109 records from 1997 to 2008 (excluding 2001-2002) were included in the analysis. Significantly higher rates of ambulance use for low-acuity conditions were associated with: 1) older age (ARR 1.30, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.18-1.43; per 10 years); 2) Medicare or Medicaid insurance (ARR 1.81, 95% CI: 1.36-2.41, and ARR 1.46, 95% CI: 1.12-1.91, respectively); 3) homelessness (ARR 3.30, 95% CI: 1.61-6.78); 4) arrival between 11 pm and 6:59 am (ARR 1.80, 95% CI: 1.43-2.27); and 5) certain chief complaint categories: psychiatric (ARR 1.78, 95% CI: 1.03-3.07), toxicologic/poisoning (ARR 3.26, 95% CI: 1.85-5.76), and neurologic/psychological (ARR 1.71, 95% CI: 1.34-2.18). Patients who arrived by ambulance were more likely than nonambulance patients to receive laboratory diagnostic tests (ARR 3.50, 95% CI: 2.80-4.39), radiographic imaging (ARR 2.26, 95% CI: 1.91-2.68), and admission to the hospital (ARR 3.99, 95% CI: 3.03-5.27). Our study builds on a body of work highlighting the factors associated with ambulance transport to EDs, confirms that certain vulnerable populations disproportionately use ambulances, and may inform interventions aimed at increasing access to nonambulance transportation and urgent care for these patients.Prehospital Emergency Care 04/2012; 16(3):329-37. DOI:10.3109/10903127.2012.670688 · 1.81 Impact Factor