Concept: Emergency department
To determine the impact of the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (HVBP) program-the US pay for performance program introduced by Medicare to incentivize higher quality care-on 30 day mortality for three incentivized conditions: acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and pneumonia.
Providing comprehensive care for patients with cancer is complex with regard to severe treatment-related side effects. Hundreds of thousands of patients with cancer visit the emergency department (ED) each year, and more than half report multiple visits. In the United States, few of the National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers have an ED specifically for patients with cancer. EDs often are an overcrowded and expensive way in which to care for the urgent needs of patients with cancer. In addition, a looming shortage exists for both primary care providers and oncologists who can address symptom issues. As the Affordable Care Act is implemented, more patients will enter the healthcare system, placing a demand on providers that the current supply cannot meet. A report from the Institute of Medicine advocates that nurse practitioners (NPs) are more than competent to provide for the unique urgent care needs of patients with cancer. The aim of this article is to describe an NP-led urgent care center for patients with cancer and how that care center provides access to vital, expeditious, and cost-effective care.
The Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events (GRACE) risk score has been extensively validated to predict risk during hospitalization in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Recently, serum calcium has been suggested as an independent predictor for in-hospital mortality in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction; however, the relationship between the 2 has not been evaluated.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services “meaningful use” incentive programs, in tandem with the boundless additional requirements for detailed reporting of quality metrics, have galvanized hospital efforts to implement hospital-based electronic health records. As such, emergency department information systems (EDISs) are an important and unique component of most hospitals' electronic health records. System functionality varies greatly and affects physician decisionmaking, clinician workflow, communication, and, ultimately, the overall quality of care and patient safety. This article is a joint effort by members of the Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Section and the Informatics Section of the American College of Emergency Physicians. The aim of this effort is to examine the benefits and potential threats to quality and patient safety that could result from the choice of a particular EDIS, its implementation and optimization, and the hospital’s or physician group’s approach to continuous improvement of the EDIS. Specifically, we explored the following areas of potential EDIS safety concerns: communication failure, wrong order-wrong patient errors, poor data display, and alert fatigue. Case studies are presented that illustrate the potential harm that could befall patients from an inferior EDIS product or suboptimal execution of such a product in the clinical environment. The authors have developed 7 recommendations to improve patient safety with respect to the deployment of EDISs. These include ensuring that emergency providers actively participate in selection of the EDIS product, in the design of processes related to EDIS implementation and optimization, and in the monitoring of the system’s ongoing success or failure. Our recommendations apply to emergency departments using any type of EDIS: custom-developed systems, best-of-breed vendor systems, or enterprise systems.
BACKGROUND: Little is known about the effectiveness of treatments for acute whiplash injury. We aimed to estimate whether training of staff in emergency departments to provide active management consultations was more effective than usual consultations (Step 1) and to estimate whether a physiotherapy package was more effective than one additional physiotherapy advice session in patients with persisting symptoms (Step 2). METHODS: Step 1 was a pragmatic, cluster randomised trial of 12 NHS Trust hospitals including 15 emergency departments who treated patients with acute whiplash associated disorder of grades I-III. The hospitals were randomised by clusters to either active management or usual care consultations. In Step 2, we used a nested individually randomised trial. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either a package of up to six physiotherapy sessions or a single advice session. Randomisation in Step 2 was stratified by centre. Investigator-masked outcomes were obtained at 4, 8, and 12 months. Masking of clinicians and patients was not possible in all steps of the trial. The primary outcome was the Neck Disability Index (NDI). Analysis was intention to treat, and included an economic evaluation. The study is registered ISRCTN33302125. FINDINGS: Recruitment ran from Dec 5, 2005 to Nov 30, 2007. Follow-up was completed on Dec 19, 2008. In Step 1, 12 NHS Trusts were randomised, and 3851 of 6952 eligible patients agreed to participate (1598 patients were assigned to usual care and 2253 patients were assigned to active management). 2704 (70%) of 3851 patients provided data at 12 months. NDI score did not differ between active management and usual care consultations (difference at 12 months 0·5, 95% CI -1·5 to 2·5). In Step 2, 599 patients were randomly assigned to receive either advice (299 patients) or a physiotherapy package (300 patients). 479 (80%) patients provided data at 12 months. The physiotherapy package at 4 months showed a modest benefit compared to advice (NDI difference -3·7, -6·1 to -1·3), but not at 8 or 12 months. Active management consultations and the physiotherapy package were more expensive than usual care and single advice session. No treatment-related serious adverse events or deaths were noted. INTERPRETATION: Provision of active management consultation did not show additional benefit. A package of physiotherapy gave a modest acceleration to early recovery of persisting symptoms but was not cost effective from a UK NHS perspective. Usual consultations in emergency departments and a single physiotherapy advice session for persistent symptoms are recommended. FUNDING: NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme.
The number of visits to hospital emergency departments (EDs) in England has increased by 20% since 2007-08, placing unsustainable pressure on the National Health Service (NHS). Some patients attend EDs because they are unable to access primary care services. This study examined the association between access to primary care and ED visits in England.
INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES: Most Spanish hospitals do not have an on-call dermatologist. The primary objective of our study was to determine the profile of patients visiting our hospital’s emergency department for dermatologic conditions; our secondary objective was to analyze the case-resolving capacity of the on-call dermatologist. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Prospective study that included patients with dermatologic conditions treated in the emergency department of a hospital with an on-call dermatology resident during a 2-month period. We collected data on sex, age, diagnosis, days since onset, whether or not the emergency visit was justified, referral (self-referral or other), continued care, and the main reason for the visit. To analyze the case-resolving capacity of the on-call dermatologist we assessed the percentage of direct discharges, the diagnostic tests performed, and the percentage of revisits. RESULTS: The on-call dermatologist attended 861 patients (14.4 patients per day), of whom 58% were women and 42% men. In total, 131 different diagnoses were made; the most common were infectious cellulitis, acute urticaria, and herpes zoster. Only half of the visits were justifiable as emergencies (95% of patients <30 years of age had conditions that did not justify emergency care, compared to 6% of patients >65 years, P<.005). The on-call dermatologist discharged 58% of the patients directly and the revisit rate was 1%. In 4 of 5 emergency visits no diagnostic tests were required. CONCLUSIONS: The profile of patients seeking emergency dermatologic care is variable. Half of the emergency visits were not justified, and unjustified visits were especially common in younger patients. The case-resolving capacity of the on-call dermatologist was high.
Injuries are a major public health problem around the world. Previous research has suggested that providing prompt access to specialized trauma center care may greatly improve the health outcomes of trauma patients. In this paper, a geographic information system (GIS) method is used to examine potential spatial access to trauma centers by individuals who were either hospitalized or died as a result of a major trauma. Overall, it was determined that 68.5% of individuals who suffered from a major trauma lived within one hour travel time of a Level I or II trauma center. In addition, major traumas resulting in death were found to have poorer potential spatial access to trauma center care than those that were admitted to hospital.
The objective of this study was to determine the predictive value of the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and the Glasgow Motor Component (GMC) for overall mortality, death on arrival, and major injury and the relationship between GCS and length of stay (LOS) in the emergency department (ED) and hospital.
In an environment of change and social interaction, hospital emergency departments create a unique sub-culture within healthcare. Patient-centered care, stressful situations, social gaps within the department, pressure to perform, teamwork, and maintaining a work-life balance were examined as influences that have developed this culture into its current state. The study aim was to examine the culture in an emergency department. The sample consisted of 34 employees working in an emergency department, level II trauma center, located in the Southeastern United States. An ethnographic approach was used to gather data from the perspective of the cultural insider. Data revealed identification of four categories that included cognitive, environmental, linguistic, and social attributes that described the culture. Promoting a culture that values the staff is essential in building an environment that fosters the satisfaction and retention of staff. Findings suggest that efforts be directed at improving workflow and processes. Development and training opportunities are needed to improve relationships to promote safer, more efficient patient care. Removing barriers and improving processes will impact patient safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Findings show that culture is influenced and created by multiple elements.