Trends in the duration of emergency department visits, 2001-2006.
ABSTRACT This study estimated trends in the duration of emergency department visits from 2001 to 2006 and compared duration by presenting complaint-mental health related or non-mental health related.
Data on visits (N=193,077) were from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey Emergency Department databases. Visits were classified as mental health visits if the primary reason for the visit was a common mental health symptom or disorder, a problem related to substance use, suicidal behaviors, or a need for counseling. Regression models were adjusted for year, diagnosis type, discharge status, payment source, demographic characteristics, receipt of medical care during the visit, mode of arrival, and immediacy of need for treatment.
The duration of all emergency department visits increased at an annual rate of 2.3%. Trends were similar for mental health visits and non-mental health visits. Throughout the period the average duration of mental health visits exceeded the average duration of non-mental health visits by 42% (p<.001). This difference was related to the longer durations of mental health visits ending in transfer and visits by persons with serious mental illness or substance use disorders.
From 2001 to 2006, the duration of emergency department visits made by patients presenting with mental health complaints and visits made by all other patients increased at similar rates. However, the longer visits for certain groups of mental health patients suggest that emergency departments incur higher costs in connection with the delivery of services to persons in need of acute stabilization.
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ABSTRACT: Psychiatric patients experience longer treatment times (length of stay [LOS]) in the emergency department (ED) compared to nonpsychiatric patients. Although patients on involuntary mental health holds are relatively understudied, common wisdom would hold that times for these patients can only be affected by addressing systems issues because they are not free to leave. The objective of this study was to determine whether both selected ED and patient-specific factors were associated with longer LOS. We hypothesized that nonmodifiable factors (age, sex, agitation, presentation during evenings/nights, presentation during weekends, suicidal ideation) would prolong LOS but that potentially modifiable factors (such as use of medication) would reduce LOS. A historical cohort of patients (January 1, 2009-August 16, 2010) placed on involuntary mental health holds was studied in 2 general EDs. A regression model was used to calculate the effects of modifiable and nonmodifiable factors on LOS. Six hundred forty patient visits met all inclusion/exclusion criteria. Longer LOSs were significantly associated with suicidal ideation, use of antipsychotics, and use of benzodiazepines, although agitation did not predict longer LOSs. Longer LOSs were also longer with presentation on the weekends. Lengths of stay for patients on involuntary mental health holds are associated with several factors outside the control of the typical ED clinician such as the ability to clear holds quickly due to day of week or placement of the hold for suicidal ideation. Lengths of stay are also increased by factors within the control of the typical ED clinician, such as administration of calming medication. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.American Journal of Emergency Medicine 01/2015; 33(4). DOI:10.1016/j.ajem.2015.01.017 · 1.15 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background: Mental health patients can experience long lengths of stay in the emergency department (ED). Reducing boarding times for mental health patients might improve care for all ED patients. Objective: The objective of this study was to identify patient factors that are correlated with extremely long lengths of stay (EL-LOS) for mental health patients in the ED. Methods: A retrospective, case-control study compared mental health patients experiencing lengths of stay longer than 24 h to those with lengths of stay <24 h. The study was conducted at an urban, academic ED and Level I trauma center. Sequential chi-squared tests were used to detect significant differences on the outcome measure. Logistic regression was used to determine factors that made significant contributions to predicting EL-LOS. The outcome measure was patients' length of stay in the ED. The factors analyzed were patient demographics, insurance status, day of arrival and departure, placement (admitted locally, admitted remotely, or discharged), chief complaint, and diagnostic category. Results: Patient-level factors associated with EL-LOS were self-pay status, admission to inpatient care, transfer to a remote facility, and suicidal ideation. Admission to inpatient care and self-pay status made significant nonredundant contributions to predicting EL-LOS. In addition, mental health patients arriving on a wweekday were significantly more likely to be admitted to inpatient care than those arriving on weekends. Conclusions: Factors were identified that correlatedwith long lengths of stay in the ED for mental health patients. Increasing timely access to inpatient beds for mental health patients, in particular by improving access to insurance that covers inpatient psychiatric care and eliminating unique mental health requirements to obtain prior authorization for placement, would likely reduce these patients' lengths of stay. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc.Journal of Emergency Medicine 07/2014; 47(4). DOI:10.1016/j.jemermed.2014.04.040 · 1.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study identifies patient risk factors present prior to an acute hospitalization that are associated with occupying acute care beds for non-acute reasons on the 30(th) day of a hospitalization. Data from 952 adult patients were obtained, among which 333 (35%) were evaluated as non-acute on their 30(th) day. Inability to move in and out of the bed, cognitive impairment, receiving home or community healthcare services prior to hospitalization, unavailable family resources, a secondary diagnosis within the mental and behavioural category, and age ≥75 years were found to increase the risk of occupying acute care beds for non-acute reasons, while patients with a feeding tube were less likely to be non-acute at day 30. © 2015 The Canadian College of Health Leaders.Healthcare management forum / Canadian College of Health Service Executives = Forum gestion des soins de santé / Collège canadien des directeurs de services de santé 01/2015; 28(1):34-39. DOI:10.1177/0840470414551906