Benjamin C Sun

Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, United States

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Publications (45)161.16 Total impact

  • Bory Kea · Rochelle Fu · Robert A. Lowe · Benjamin C. Sun
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Prescription opioid overdoses are a leading cause of death in the United States. Emergency departments (EDs) are potentially high-risk environments for doctor shopping and diversion. The hypothesis was that opioid prescribing rates from the ED have increased over time. Methods: The authors analyzed data on ED discharges from the 2006 through 2010 NHAMCS, a probability sample of all U.S. EDs. The outcome was documentation of an opioid prescription on discharge. The primary independent predictor was time. Covariates included severity of pain, a pain-related discharge diagnosis, age, sex, race, payer, hospital ownership, and geographic location of hospital. Up to three discharge diagnoses were available in NHAMCS to identify "pain-related" (e.g., back pain, fracture, dental/jaw pain, nephrolithiasis) ED visits. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to assess the independent associations between opioid prescribing and predictors. All analyses incorporated NHAMCS survey weights, and all results are presented as national estimates. Results: Opioids were prescribed for 18.7% (95% confidence interval = 17.7% to 19.7%) of all ED discharges, representing 18.8 million prescriptions per year. There were no significant temporal trends in opioid prescribing overall (adjusted p = 0.93). Pain-related discharge diagnoses that received the top three highest proportion of opioids prescriptions included nephrolithiasis (62.1%), neck pain (51.6%), and dental/jaw pain (49.7%). A pain-related discharge diagnosis, non-Hispanic white race, older age, male sex, uninsured status, and Western region were positively associated with opioid prescribing (p < 0.05). Conclusions: No temporal trend toward increased prescribing from 2006 to 2012 was found. These results suggest that problems with opioid overprescribing are multifactorial and not solely rooted in the ED.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Academic Emergency Medicine
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    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · European Heart Journal
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    ABSTRACT: Syncope is a frequent emergency department (ED) presenting complaint and results in a disproportionate rate of hospitalization with variable management strategies. The objective was to estimate the annual national cost savings, reduction in inpatient hospitalizations, and reduction in hospital bed hours from implementation of protocolized care in an observation unit. We created a Monte Carlo simulation by building a model that reflects current clinical practice in the United States and uses inputs gathered from the most recent available peer-reviewed literature and national survey data. ED visit volume was adjusted to reflect observation unit availability and the portion of observation visits requiring subsequent inpatient care. A recent multicenter randomized controlled study informed the cost savings and length of stay reduction per observation unit visit model inputs. The study population included patients aged 50 years and older with syncope deemed at intermediate risk for serious 30-day cardiovascular outcomes. The mean (±SD) annual cost savings was estimated to be $108 million (±$89 million) from avoiding 235,000 (±13,900) inpatient admissions, resulting in 4,297,000 (±1,242,000) fewer hospital bed hours. The potential national cost savings for managing selected patients with syncope in a dedicated observation unit is substantial. Syncope is one of many conditions suitable for care in an observation unit as an alternative to an inpatient setting. As pressure to decrease hospital length of stay and bill short-stay hospitalizations as observation increases, syncope illustrates the value of observation unit care. © 2015 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Academic Emergency Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published emergency department (ED) timeliness measures. These data show substantial variation in hospital performance and suggest the need for process improvement initiatives. However, the CMS measures are not risk adjusted and may provide misleading information about hospital performance and variation. We hypothesize that substantial hospital-level variation will persist after risk adjustment. This cross-sectional study included hospitals that participated in the Emergency Department Benchmarking Alliance and CMS ED measure reporting in 2012. Outcomes included the CMS measures corresponding to median annual boarding time, length of stay of admitted patients, length of stay of discharged patients, and waiting time of discharged patients. Covariates included hospital structural characteristics and case-mix information from the American Hospital Association Survey, CMS cost reports, and the Emergency Department Benchmarking Alliance. We used a γ regression with a log link to model the skewed outcomes. We used indirect standardization to create risk-adjusted measures. We defined "substantial" variation as coefficient of variation greater than 0.15. The study cohort included 723 hospitals. Risk-adjusted performance on the CMS measures varied substantially across hospitals, with coefficient of variation greater than 0.15 for all measures. Ratios between the 10th and 90th percentiles of performance ranged from 1.5-fold for length of stay of discharged patients to 3-fold for waiting time of discharged patients. Policy-relevant variations in publicly reported CMS ED timeliness measures persist after risk adjustment for nonmodifiable hospital and case-mix characteristics. Future "positive deviance" studies should identify modifiable process measures associated with high performance. Copyright © 2015 American College of Emergency Physicians. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Annals of emergency medicine
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    ABSTRACT: We assess whether a panel of emergency department (ED) crowding measures, including 2 reported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is associated with inpatient admission and death within 7 days of ED discharge. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of ED discharges, using data from an integrated health system for 2008 to 2010. We assessed patient transit-level (n=3) and ED system-level (n=6) measures of crowding, using multivariable logistic regression models. The outcome measures were inpatient admission or death within 7 days of ED discharge. We defined a clinically important association by assessing the relative risk ratio and 95% confidence interval (CI) difference and also compared risks at the 99th percentile and median value of each measure. The study cohort contained a total of 625,096 visits to 12 EDs. There were 16,957 (2.7%) admissions and 328 (0.05%) deaths within 7 days. Only 2 measures, both of which were patient transit measures, were associated with the outcome. Compared with a median evaluation time of 2.2 hours, the evaluation time of 10.8 hours (99th percentile) was associated with a relative risk of 3.9 (95% CI 3.7 to 4.1) of an admission. Compared with a median ED length of stay (a CMS measure) of 2.8 hours, the 99th percentile ED length of stay of 11.6 hours was associated with a relative risk of 3.5 (95% CI 3.3 to 3.7) of admission. No system measure of ED crowding was associated with outcomes. Our findings suggest that ED length of stay is a proxy for unmeasured differences in case mix and challenge the validity of the CMS metric as a safety measure for discharged patients. Copyright © 2015 American College of Emergency Physicians. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Annals of emergency medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Palpitations are a common emergency department (ED) complaint, yet relatively little research exists on this topic from an emergency care perspective. We sought to describe the perceptions and clinical decision-making processes of emergency physicians (EP) surrounding patients with palpitations. We conducted 21 semistructured interviews with a convenience sample of EPs. We recruited participants from academic and community practice settings from four regions of the United States. The transcribed interviews were analyzed using a combination of structural coding and grounded theory approaches with ATLAS.ti, a qualitative data analysis software program (version 7; Atlas.ti Scientific Software Development GmbH, Berlin, Germany). EPs perceive palpitations to be a common but generally benign chief complaint. EPs' clinical approach to palpitations, with regards to testing, treatment, and ED management, can be classified as relating to one or more of the following themes: 1) risk stratification, 2) diagnostic categorization, 3) algorithmic management, and 4) case-specific gestalt. With regard to disposition decisions, four main themes emerged: 1) presence of a serious diagnosis, 2) perceived need for further cardiac testing/monitoring, 3) presence of key associated symptoms, 4) request of other physician or patient desire. The interrater reliability exercise yielded a Fleiss' kappa measure of 0.69, indicating substantial agreement between coders. EPs perceive palpitations to be a common but generally benign chief complaint. EPs rely on one or more of four main clinical approaches to manage these patients. These findings could help guide future efforts at developing risk-stratification tools and clinical algorithms for patients with palpitations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Journal of Emergency Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Over the last 20 years, numerous research articles and clinical guidelines aimed at optimizing resource utilization for emergency department (ED) patients presenting with syncope have been published. We hypothesized that there would be temporal trends in syncope-related ED visits and associated trends in imaging, hospital admissions, and diagnostic frequencies. The ED component of National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey was analyzed from 2001 through 2010, comprising more than 358000 visits (representing an estimated 1.18 billion visits nationally). We selected ED visits with a reason for visit of syncope or fainting and calculated nationally representative weighted estimates for prevalence of such visits and associated rates of advanced imaging utilization and admission. For admitted patients from 2005 to 2010, the most frequent hospital discharge diagnoses were tabulated. During the study period, there were more than 3500 actual ED visits (representing 11.9 million visits nationally) related to syncope, representing roughly 1% of all ED visits. Admission rates for syncope patients ranged from 27% to 35% and showed no significant downward trend (P = .1). Advanced imaging rates increased from about 21% to 45% and showed a significant upward trend (P < .001). For admitted patients, the most common hospital discharge diagnosis was the symptomatic diagnosis of "syncope and collapse" (36.4%). Despite substantial efforts by medical researchers and professional societies, resource utilization associated with ED visits for syncope appears to have actually increased. There have been no apparent improvements in diagnostic yield for admissions. Novel strategies may be needed to change practice patterns for such patients. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · The American journal of emergency medicine
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    ABSTRACT: We documented emergency department (ED) visits for nontraumatic dental problems and identified strategies to reduce ED dental visits. We used mixed methods to analyze claims in 2010 from a purposive sample of 25 Oregon hospitals and Oregon's All Payer All Claims data set and interviewed 51 ED dental visitors and stakeholders from 6 communities. Dental visits accounted for 2.5% of ED visits and represented the second-most-common discharge diagnosis in adults aged 20 to 39 years, were associated with being uninsured (odds ratio [OR] = 5.2 [reference: commercial insurance]; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.8, 5.5) or having Medicaid insurance (OR = 4.0; 95% CI = 3.7, 4.2), resulted in opioid (56%) and antibiotic (56%) prescriptions, and generated $402 (95% CI = $396, $408) in hospital costs per visit. Interviews revealed health system, community, provider, and patient contributors to ED dental visits. Potential solutions provided by interviewees included Medicaid benefit expansion, care coordination, water fluoridation, and patient education. Emergency department dental visits are a significant and costly public health problem for vulnerable individuals. Future efforts should focus on implementing multilevel interventions to reduce ED dental visits. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print March 19, 2015: e1-e9. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302398).
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · American Journal of Public Health
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    ABSTRACT: To identify predictors of hospital inpatient admission of older Medicare beneficiaries after discharge from the emergency department (ED). Retrospective cohort study. Nonfederal California hospitals (n = 284). Visits of Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older discharged from California EDs in 2007 (n = 505,315). Using the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development files, predictors of hospital inpatient admission within 7 days of ED discharge in older adults (≥65) with Medicare were evaluated. Hospital inpatient admissions within 7 days of ED discharge occurred in 23,340 (4.6%) visits and were associated with older age (70-74: adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.07-1.17; 75-79: AOR = 1.18, 95% CI = 1.13-1.23; ≥80: AOR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.35-1.46), skilled nursing facility use (AOR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.72-1.94), leaving the ED against medical advice (AOR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.67-1.98), and the following diagnoses with the highest odds of admission: end-stage renal disease (AOR = 3.83, 95% CI = 2.42-6.08), chronic renal disease (AOR = 3.19, 95% CI = 2.26-4.49), and congestive heart failure (AOR = 3.01, 95% CI = 2.59-3.50). Five percent of older Medicare beneficiaries have a hospital inpatient admission after discharge from the ED. Chronic conditions such as renal disease and heart failure were associated with the greatest odds of admission. © 2014, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2014, The American Geriatrics Society.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
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    Marc A Probst · Benjamin C Sun
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    ABSTRACT: Syncope is a common and challenging presenting complaint to the emergency department (ED). Despite substantial research efforts, there is still considerable uncertainty about the optimal ED management of syncope. There is continued interest among clinicians and researchers in improving diagnostic algorithms and optimizing resource utilization. In this paper, we discuss four strategies to improve the emergency care of syncope patients: (1) development of accurate and consistent risk-stratification, (2) increased use of syncope observation protocols, (3) evaluation of a discharge with ambulatory monitoring pathway, and (4) use of shared decision-making for disposition decisions. Since current risk-stratification tools have fallen short with regard to subsequent validation and implementation in to clinical practice, we outline key factors for future risk-stratification research. We propose that observation units have the potential to safely decrease length-of-stay and hospital costs for hemodynamically stable, intermediate risk patients without adversely affecting clinical outcomes. For appropriate patients with a negative ED evaluation, we recommend consideration of direct discharge, with ambulatory monitoring and expedited follow-up, as a means of decreasing costs and reducing iatrogenic harms. Finally, we advocate for the use of shared decision-making regarding the ultimate disposition of select, intermediate risk patients who have not had a serious condition revealed in the ED. If properly implemented, these four strategies could significantly improve the care of ED syncope patients by helping clinicians identify truly high-risk patients, decreasing unnecessary hospitalizations and increasing patient satisfaction.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Cardiology journal
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    Bory Kea · Rochelle Fu · Richard A Deyo · Benjamin C Sun

    Preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Academic Emergency Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Emergency department (ED) crowding has been identified as a major threat to public health. Objectives: We assessed patient transit times and ED system crowding measures based on their associations with outcomes. Research Design: Retrospective cohort study. Subjects: We accessed electronic health record data on 136,740 adults with a visit to any of 13 health system EDs from January 2008 to December 2010. Measures: Patient transit times (waiting, evaluation and treatment, boarding) and ED system crowding [nonindex patient length-of-stay (LOS) and boarding, bed occupancy] were determined. Outcomes included individual inpatient mortality and admission LOS. Covariates included demographic characteristics, past comorbidities, severity of illness, arrival time, and admission diagnoses. Results: No patient transit time or ED system crowding measure predicted increased mortality after control for patient characteristics. Index patient boarding time and lower bed occupancy were associated with admission LOS (based on nonoverlapping 95% CI vs. the median value). As boarding time increased from none to 14 hours, admission LOS increased an additional 6 hours. As mean occupancy decreased below the median (80% occupancy), admission LOS decreased as much as 9 hours. Conclusions: Measures indicating crowded ED conditions were not predictive of mortality after case-mix adjustment. The first half-day of boarding added to admission LOS rather than substituted for it. Our findings support the use of boarding time as a measure of ED crowding based on robust prediction of admission LOS. Interpretation of measures based on other patient ED transit times may be limited to the timeliness of care. Copyright
    No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Medical Care
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    ABSTRACT: Study objectives: There is limited evidence to guide the emergency department (ED) evaluation and management of syncope. The First International Workshop on Syncope Risk Stratification in the Emergency Department identified key research questions and methodological standards essential to advancing the science of ED-based syncope research. Methods: We recruited a multinational panel of syncope experts. A preconference survey identified research priorities, which were refined during and after the conference through an iterative review process. Results: There were 31 participants from 7 countries who represented 10 clinical and methodological specialties. High-priority research recommendations were organized around a conceptual model of ED decisionmaking for syncope, and they address definition, cohort selection, risk stratification, and management. Conclusion: We convened a multispecialty group of syncope experts to identify the most pressing knowledge gaps and defined a high-priority research agenda to improve the care of patients with syncope in the ED.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Annals of Emergency Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Palpitations is a common complaint in patients who visit the emergency department (ED), with causes ranging from benign to life threatening. We analyzed the ED component of the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey for 2001 through 2010 for visits with a chief complaint of palpitations and calculated nationally representative weighted estimates for prevalence, demographic characteristics, and admission rates. ED and hospital discharge diagnoses were tabulated and categorized, and recursive partitioning was used to identify factors associated with admission. An estimated 684,000 visits had a primary reason for visit of “palpitations” representing a national prevalence of 5.8 per 1,000 ED visits (0.58%, 95% confidence interval 0.52 to 0.64). Women and non-Hispanic whites were responsible for most visits. A cardiac diagnosis made up 34% of all ED diagnoses. The overall admission rate was 24.6% (95% confidence interval 21.2 to 28.1), with higher rates seen in the Midwest and Northeast compared with the West. Survey-weighted recursive partitioning revealed several factors associated with admission including age >50 years, male gender, cardiac ED diagnosis, tachycardia, hypertension, and Medicare insurance. In conclusion, palpitations are responsible for a significant minority of ED visits and are associated with a cardiac diagnosis roughly 1/3 of the time. This was associated with a relatively high admission rate, although significant regional variation in these rates exists.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Prior studies of admitted geriatric syncope patients suggest that diagnostic tests affect management < 5% of the time; whether this is true among all emergency department (ED) patients with syncope remains unclear. To determine the diagnostic yield of routine testing in the hospital or after ED discharge among patients presenting to an ED with syncope. A prospective, observational, cohort study of consecutive ED patients aged ≥ 18 years presenting with syncope was conducted. The four most commonly utilized tests (echocardiography, telemetry, ambulatory electrocardiography monitoring, and troponin) were studied. Interobserver agreement as to whether test results determined the etiology of the syncope was measured using kappa (κ) values. Of 570 patients with syncope, 73 patients (8%; 95% confidence interval 7-10%) had studies that were diagnostic. One hundred fifty (26%) had echocardiography, with 33 (22%) demonstrating a likely etiology of the syncopal event, such as critical valvular disease or significantly depressed left ventricular function (κ = 0.75). On hospitalization, 330 (58%) patients were placed on telemetry, and 19 (3%) had worrisome dysrhythmias (κ = 0.66). There were 317 (55%) patients who had troponin levels drawn, of whom 19 (3%) had positive results (κ = 1); 56 (10%) patients were discharged with monitoring, with significant findings in only 2 (0.4%) patients (κ = 0.65). Although routine testing is prevalent in ED patients with syncope, the diagnostic yield is relatively low. Nevertheless, some testing, particularly echocardiography, may yield critical findings. Current efforts to reduce the cost of medical care by eliminating nondiagnostic medical testing and increasing emphasis on practicing evidence-based medicine argue for more discriminate testing when evaluating syncope.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Journal of Emergency Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Palpitations is a common complaint in patients who visit the emergency department (ED), with causes ranging from benign to life threatening. We analyzed the ED component of the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey for 2001 through 2010 for visits with a chief complaint of palpitations and calculated nationally representative weighted estimates for prevalence, demographic characteristics, and admission rates. ED and hospital discharge diagnoses were tabulated and categorized, and recursive partitioning was used to identify factors associated with admission. An estimated 684,000 visits had a primary reason for visit of "palpitations" representing a national prevalence of 5.8 per 1,000 ED visits (0.58%, 95% confidence interval 0.52 to 0.64). Women and non-Hispanic whites were responsible for most visits. A cardiac diagnosis made up 34% of all ED diagnoses. The overall admission rate was 24.6% (95% confidence interval 21.2 to 28.1), with higher rates seen in the Midwest and Northeast compared with the West. Survey-weighted recursive partitioning revealed several factors associated with admission including age >50 years, male gender, cardiac ED diagnosis, tachycardia, hypertension, and Medicare insurance. In conclusion, palpitations are responsible for a significant minority of ED visits and are associated with a cardiac diagnosis roughly 1/3 of the time. This was associated with a relatively high admission rate, although significant regional variation in these rates exists.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · The American journal of cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Older adults are frequently hospitalized from the emergency department (ED) after an episode of unexplained syncope. Current admission patterns are costly, with little evidence of benefit. We hypothesize that an ED observation syncope protocol will reduce resource use without adversely affecting patient-oriented outcomes. This randomized trial at 5 EDs compared an ED observation syncope protocol to inpatient admission for intermediate-risk adults (≥50 years) presenting with syncope or near syncope. Primary outcomes included inpatient admission rate and length of stay. Secondary outcomes included 30-day and 6-month serious outcomes after hospital discharge, index and 30-day hospital costs, 30-day quality-of-life scores, and 30-day patient satisfaction. Study staff randomized 124 patients. Observation resulted in a lower inpatient admission rate (15% versus 92%; 95% confidence interval [CI] difference -88% to -66%) and shorter hospital length of stay (29 versus 47 hours; 95% CI difference -28 to -8). Serious outcome rates after hospital discharge were similar for observation versus admission at 30 days (3% versus 0%; 95% CI difference -1% to 8%) and 6 months (8% versus 10%; 95% CI difference -13% to 9%). Index hospital costs in the observation group were $629 (95% CI difference -$1,376 to -$56) lower than in the admission group. There were no differences in 30-day quality-of-life scores or in patient satisfaction. An ED observation syncope protocol reduced the primary outcomes of admission rate and hospital length of stay. Analyses of secondary outcomes suggest reduction in index hospital costs, with no difference in safety events, quality of life, or patient satisfaction. Our findings suggest that an ED observation syncope protocol can be replicated and safely reduce resource use.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Annals of emergency medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Emergency department (ED) crowding is linked with poor quality of care and worse outcomes, including higher mortality. With the growing emphasis on hospital performance measures, there is additional concern whether inadequate care during crowded periods increases a patient's likelihood of subsequent inpatient admission. We sought to determine if ED crowding during the index visit was associated with these "bounceback" admissions. We used comprehensive, nonpublic, statewide ED and inpatient discharge data from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development from 2007 to identify index outpatient ED visits and bounceback admissions within 7 days. We further used ambulance diversion data collected from California local emergency medical services agencies to identify crowded days using intrahospital daily diversion hour quartiles. Using a hierarchical logistic regression model, we then determined if patients visiting on crowded days were more likely to have a subsequent bounceback admission. We analyzed 3,368,527 index visits across 202 hospitals, of which 596,471 (17.7%) observations were on crowded days. We found no association between ED crowding and bounceback admissions. This lack of relationship persisted in both a discrete (high/low) model (OR, 1.01; 95% CI, 0.99, 1.02) and a secondary model using ambulance diversion hours as a continuous predictor (OR, 1.00; 95% CI, 1.00, 1.00). Crowding as measured by ambulance diversion does not have an association with hospitalization within 7 days of an ED visit discharge. Therefore, bounceback admission may be a poor measure of delayed or worsened quality of care due to crowding.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Medical care
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    ABSTRACT: Early death after emergency department (ED) discharge may signal opportunities to improve care. Prior studies are limited by incomplete mortality ascertainment and lack of clinically important information in administrative data. The goal in this hypothesis-generating study was to identify patient and process of care themes that may provide possible explanations for early postdischarge mortality. This was a qualitative analysis of medical records of adult patients who visited the ED of any of six hospitals in an integrated health system (Kaiser Permanente Southern California [KPSC]) and died within 7 days of discharge in 2007 and 2008. Nonmembers, visits to non-health plan hospitals, patients receiving or referred to hospice care, and patients with do not attempt resuscitation or do not intubate orders (DNAR/DNI) were excluded. Under the guidance of two qualitative research scientists, a team of three emergency physicians used grounded theory techniques to identify patient clinical presentations and processes of care that serve as potential explanations for poor outcome after discharge. The source population consisted of a total of 290,092 members with 446,120 discharges from six KPSC EDs in 2007 and 2008. A total of 203 deaths occurred within 7 days of ED discharge (0.05%). Sixty-one randomly chosen cases were reviewed. Patient-level themes that emerged included an unexplained persistent acute change in mental status, recent fall, abnormal vital signs, ill-appearing presentation, malfunctioning indwelling device, and presenting symptoms remaining at discharge. Process-of-care factors included a discrepancy in history of present illness, incomplete physical examination, and change of discharge plan by a third party, such as a consulting or admitting physician. In this hypothesis-generating study, qualitative research techniques were used to identify clinical and process-of-care factors in patients who died within days after discharge from an ED. These potential predictors will be formally tested in a future quantitative study.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Academic Emergency Medicine
  • Benjamin C Sun
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    ABSTRACT: Syncope is a prevalent condition that is associated with high morbidity, health service use, and costs. Syncope negatively impacts multiple domains of quality-of-life, including physical health, mental health, and functional status. The morbidity associated with recurrent syncope is equivalent to chronic conditions such as severe rheumatoid arthritis and low back pain. Frequency of syncope events is related to worse morbidity, suggesting that effective diagnosis and management can improve quality-of-life. There is a high incidence of health service use associated with syncope, including 740,000 annual emergency department visits and 460,000 hospital admissions in the United States. Rates of admission and inpatient diagnostic testing are characterized by high variance and low clinical utility. Finally, the evaluation of syncope is associated with high costs. Hospital costs associated with the inpatient evaluation of syncope exceed $2.4 billion per year in the United States. Improved diagnostic and treatment algorithms are urgently needed to improve patient quality-of-life, reduce health service use, and lower costs related to the evaluation of syncope.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Progress in cardiovascular diseases

Publication Stats

723 Citations
161.16 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2012-2015
    • Oregon Health and Science University
      • Department of Emergency Medicine
      Portland, Oregon, United States
    • The Ottawa Hospital
      • Department of Emergency Medicine
      Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    • Kaiser Permanente
      Oakland, California, United States
  • 2010-2011
    • VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
      Los Ángeles, California, United States
  • 2006-2011
    • University of California, Los Angeles
      • Department of Medicine
      Los Angeles, California, United States
  • 2004-2011
    • Massachusetts General Hospital
      • Department of Emergency Medicine
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • Brigham and Women's Hospital
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States