Many ENT conditions can be treated in the emergency clinic on an ambulatory basis. Our clinic traditionally had been run by foundation year two and specialty trainee doctors (period one). However, with perceived increasing inexperience, a dedicated registrar was assigned to support the clinic (period two). This study compared admission and discharge rates for periods one and two to assess if greater registrar input affected discharge rate; an increase in discharge rate was used as a surrogate marker of efficiency.
Data was collected prospectively for patients seen in the ENT emergency clinic between 1 August 2009 and 31 July 2011. Time period one included data from patients seen between 1 August 2009 and 31 July 2010, and time period two included data collected between 1 August 2010 and 31 July 2011.
The introduction of greater registrar support increased the number of patients that were discharged, and led to a reduction in the number of children requiring the operating theatre.
The findings, which were determined using clinic outcomes as markers of the quality of care, highlighted the benefits of increasing senior input within the ENT emergency clinic.