Association of Emergency Department and Hospital Characteristics with Elopements and Length of Stay.
ABSTRACT As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) core measures in 2013 compare Emergency Department (ED) treatment time intervals, it is important to identify ED and hospital characteristics associated with these metrics to facilitate accurate comparisons.
The objective of this study is to assess differences in operational metrics by ED and hospital characteristics. ED-level characteristics included annual ED volume, percentage of patients admitted, percentage of patients presenting by ambulance, and percentage of pediatric patients. Hospital-level characteristics included teaching hospital status, trauma center status, hospital ownership (nonprofit or for-profit), inpatient bed capacity, critical access status, inpatient bed occupancy, and rural vs. urban location area.
Data from the ED Benchmarking Alliance from 2004 to 2009 were merged with the American Hospital Association's Annual Survey Database to include hospital characteristics that may impact ED throughput. Overall median length of stay (LOS) and left before treatment is complete (LBTC) were the primary outcome variables, and a linear mixed model was used to assess the association between outcome variables and ED and hospital characteristics, while accounting for correlations among multiple observations within each hospital. All data were at the hospital level on a yearly basis.
There were 445 EDs included in the analysis, from 2004 to 2009, with 850 observations over 6 years. Higher-volume EDs were associated with higher rates of LBTC and LOS. For-profit hospitals had lower LBTC and LOS. Higher inpatient bed occupancies were associated with a higher LOS. Increasing admission percentages were positively associated with overall LOS for EDs, but not with rates of LBTC.
Higher-volume EDs are associated with higher LBTC and LOS, and for-profit hospitals appear more favorably in these metrics compared with their nonprofit counterparts. It is important to appreciate that hospitals have different baselines for performance that may be more tied to volume and capacity, and less to quality of care.
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ABSTRACT: One of the most important parameters that influence patient satisfaction with emergency department care is their perception of throughput time. It is defined in our department as the time from patient arrival to time of discharge. Measurement of throughput time is one objective measure of efficiency that is feasible in most emergency departments. The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact of certain demographic and resource utilization factors on patient throughput times. Analysis of variants through multiple regression was used to determine associations between the average daily throughput time and factors commonly assumed to have significant influence on patient throughput time. Our data analysis found that patient throughput was significantly affected by the number of inpatient admissions from the emergency department, daily census in the main emergency department, pediatric volume, and the number of ambulance arrivals. Several factors that were commonly assumed to affect patient throughput time, such as nursing hours worked and day of the week, were not significant.American Journal of Medical Quality 02/1997; 12(4):183-6. · 1.78 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To determine whether faculty triage (FT) activities can shorten emergency department (ED) length of stay (LOS). This was a comparison study measuring the impact of faculty triage vs no faculty triage on ED LOS. It was set in an urban county teaching hospital. Subjects were patients presenting to the registration desk between 9 AM and 9 PM on 16 consecutive Mondays (August 2 to November 15, 1999). On eight Mondays, an additional faculty member was stationed at the triage desk. He or she was asked to expedite care by rapid evaluation orders for diagnostic studies and basic therapeutic interventions, and by moving serious patients to the patient care areas. He or she was not provided with detailed instructions or protocols. The ED LOS, time of registration (TIMEREG), inpatient admission status (ADMIT), x-ray utilization (XRAY), total patients registered each day between 9 AM and 9 PM (TOTREG), and patients who left without being seen (LWBS) were determined using an ED information system. The LOS was analyzed in relation to FT, ADMIT, and XRAY by the Mann-Whitney U test. The LOS was related to TIMEREG and TOTREG by simple linear regression. Stepwise multiple linear regression models to predict LOS were generated using all the variables. Patients without FT (n = 814) had a mean LOS of 445 minutes. Patients with FT (n = 920) had a mean LOS of 363 minutes. Mean difference in LOS was -82 minutes (95% CI = -111 to -53), a reduction of 18%. The LOS was also related to: ADMIT +203 minutes (95% CI = 168 to 238), TOTREG -2.7 min/additional patient registered (95% CI = -1.15 to -4.3), and TIMEREG +0.14 min/min since 9 AM (95% CI = 0.07 to 0.21). The LWBS was reduced by 46% with FT. In multiple regression analysis, ADMIT, FT, TIMEREG, and XRAY were all related to LOS, but the model explained only a small part of variance (adjusted R(2) = 0.093). The faculty cost is estimated to be $11.98/patient. Faculty triage offers a moderate increase in efficiency at this ED, albeit with relatively high cost.Academic Emergency Medicine 11/2001; 8(10):990-5. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although much work has been done evaluating causes for increased demand for emergency department (ED) services, few ways are available to help determine that an individual ED is overcrowded. Four calculations are proposed using real-time data for accurately diagnosing an ED with potential for failing both as a safety net and as a source for quality health care. The bed ratio (BR) accounts for the number of patients in relation to the available treatment spaces. The BR is obtained by adding the current number of ED patients to the predicted arrivals minus the predicted departures and dividing the result by the total number of treatment spaces. The acuity ratio (AR) measures the relative burden of illness in the ED. The AR is the average triage category of all patients in the ED. The provider ratio (PR) determines the volume of patients that can be evaluated and treated by the physician providers. The PR is found by dividing the arrivals per hour by the sum of the average patients per hour usually disposed for each provider on duty. From these ratios, the demand value (DV) is calculated, which gives an overall measure of current demand. The DV is found by taking the sum of the BR and PR and multiplying by the AR. A DV of more than 7 should initiate a specific assessment of the individual ratios in order to accurately diagnose the problem and institute action. Based on the values, predetermined processes can be instituted to help remedy the overcrowded situation. Trended over time, the ratios can provide the data needed for better resource assessment, planning, and allocation.Academic Emergency Medicine 12/2001; 8(11):1070-4. · 2.20 Impact Factor