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P130: Timely initial assessment by a physician (IAP) improves community emergency department wait times

  • S. Upadhye (a1), P. Kapend (a1), S. Brown (a1), S. Speck (a1), S. Weera (a1) and C. Davies-Schinkel (a1)...

Abstract

Introduction: Prior Canadian Emergency Department (ED) studies have demonstrated variable benefits of initial assessment physician (IAP) to rapidly assess and initiate care of ED patients after triage. These studies have been conducted primarily in academic teaching and large urban hospitals. It is not clear if such an IAP role could be beneficial in an small community hospital. Our pilot study hypothesized that instituting a supported IAP role can reduce physician intial assessment (PIA) time, total ED length of stay (LOS), and left-without-being-seen (LWBS) rates. Methods: This was a pre and post interrupted time series observational study at a community ED in Niagara Health Systems (Welland Ontario, 4 MD shifts, 36hrs total coverage, 30000 annual visits). In July 2017, an IAP ED shift (with separate assessment/treatment area) was re-purposed, with nursing support, to reduce initial time to MD assessment after triage. For lower acuity cases, the IAP MD generally completed full case management & disposition. Higher acuity complex cases were initiated by IAP, and transferred into the main ED care areas for “inside” MD management. Administrative data was accessed for 6 months prior to intervention, and 4 months available post-intervention. Descriptive statistics were calculated for collected data. Results: A modest improvement in different administrative ED performance metrics was observed. The following changes were noted pre and post IAP intervention: PIA time reduced from 3.6hrs to 3.2hrs, total ED LOS reduced from 19.2hrs to 13.8hrs, and daily LWBS rate reduced from 4.2% to 3.7%. This pilot study demonstrated improvement trends in ED performance metrics, although there is insufficient data to show statistical significance. Aggregate data was not subgrouped based on CTAS categories. This pilot was not intended to collect patient or staff satisfaction data, adverse events, nor designed to demonstrate cost-effectiveness Conclusion: Introducing an IAP shift in a small community ED has shown improvement trends for various ED throughput measures pertaining to outcomes such as PIA time, total LOS and LWBS rates. Further research is required to determine statistical significance of time reductions, satisfaction (patients, staff), resource utilization impact and CTAS subgroup performance. This improvement demonstrates potential impact system-wide across Niagara region.

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P130: Timely initial assessment by a physician (IAP) improves community emergency department wait times

  • S. Upadhye (a1), P. Kapend (a1), S. Brown (a1), S. Speck (a1), S. Weera (a1) and C. Davies-Schinkel (a1)...

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