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Ontario established emergency department length-of-stay (EDLOS) targets but has difficulty achieving them. We sought to determine predictors of target time failure for discharged high acuity patients and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions.
This was a retrospective, observational study of 2012 Sunnybrook Hospital emergency department data. The main outcome measure was failing to meet government EDLOS targets for high acuity discharges and ICU emergency admissions. The secondary outcome measures examined factors for low acuity discharges and all admissions, as well as a run chart for 2015 – 2016 ICU admissions. Multiple logistic regression models were created for admissions, ICU admissions, and low and high acuity discharges. Predictor variables were at the patient level from emergency department registries.
For discharged high acuity patients, factors predicting EDLOS target failure were having physician initial assessment duration (PIAD)>2 hours (OR 5.63 [5.22-6.06]), consultation request (OR 10.23 [9.38-11.14]), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (OR 19.33 [12.94-28.87]), computed tomography (CT) (OR 4.24 [3.92-4.59]), and ultrasound (US) (OR 3.47 [3.13-3.83]). For ICU admissions, factors predicting EDLOS target failure were bed request duration (BRD)>6 hours (OR 364.27 [43.20-3071.30]) and access block (AB)>1 hour (OR 217.27 [30.62-1541.63]). For discharged low acuity patients, factors predicting failure for the 4-hour target were PIAD>2 hours (OR 15.80 [13.35-18.71]), consultation (OR 20.98 [14.10-31.22]), MRI (OR 31.68 [6.03-166.54]), CT (OR 16.48 [10.07-26.98]), and troponin I (OR 13.37 [6.30-28.37]).
Sunnybrook factors predicting failure of targets for high acuity discharges and ICU admissions were hospital-controlled. Hospitals should individualize their approach to shortening EDLOS by analysing its patient population and resource demands.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of physician-nurse supplementary triage assistance team (MDRNSTAT) from a hospital and patient perspective.
This was a cost-effectiveness evaluation of a cluster randomized control trial comparing the MDRNSTAT with nurse-only triage in the emergency department (ED) between the hours of 0800 and 1500. Cost was MDRNSTAT salary. Revenue was from Ontario’s Pay-for-Results and patient volume-case mix payment programs. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was based on MDRNSTAT cost and three consequence assessments: 1) per additional patient-seen; 2) per physician initial assessment (PIA) hour saved; and 3) per ED length of stay (EDLOS) hour saved. Patient opportunity cost was determined. Patient satisfaction was quantified by a cost-benefit ratio. A sensitivity analysis extrapolating MDRNSTAT to different working hours, salary, and willingness-to-pay data was performed.
The added cost of the MDRNSTAT was $3,597.27 [$1,729.47 to ∞] per additional patient-seen, $75.37 [$67.99 to $105.30] per PIA hour saved, and $112.99 [$74.68 to $251.43] per EDLOS hour saved. From the hospital perspective, the cost-benefit ratio was 38.6 [19.0 to ∞] and net present value of –$447,996 [–$435,646 to –$459,900]. For patients, the cost-benefit ratio for satisfaction was 2.8 [2.3 to 4.6]. If MDRNSTAT performance were consistently implemented from noon to midnight, it would be more cost-effective.
The MDRNSTAT is not a cost-effective daytime strategy but appears to be more feasible during time periods with higher patient volume, such as late morning to evening.
The evaluation of emergency department (ED) quality of care is hampered by the absence of consensus on appropriate measures. We sought to develop a consensus on a prioritized and parsimonious set of evidence-based quality of care indicators for EDs.
The process was led by a nationally representative steering committee and expert panel (representatives from hospital administration, emergency medicine, health information, government, and provincial quality councils). A comprehensive review of the scientific literature was conducted to identify candidate indicators. The expert panel reviewed candidate indicators in a modified Delphi panel process using electronic surveys; final decisions on inclusion of indicators were made by the steering committee in a guided nominal group process with facilitated discussion. Indicators in the final set were ranked based on their priority for measurement. A gap analysis identified areas where future indicator development is needed. A feasibility study of measuring the final set of indicators using current Canadian administrative databases was conducted.
A total of 170 candidate indicators were generated from the literature; these were assessed based on scientific soundness and their relevance or importance. Using predefined scoring criteria in two rounds of surveys, indicators were coded as “retained” (53), “discarded” (78), or “borderline” (39). A final set of 48 retained indicators was selected and grouped in nine categories (patient satisfaction, ED operations, patient safety, pain management, pediatrics, cardiac conditions, respiratory conditions, stroke, and sepsis or infection). Gap analysis suggested the need for new indicators in patient satisfaction, a healthy workplace, mental health and addiction, elder care, and community-hospital integration. Feasibility analysis found that 13 of 48 indicators (27%) can be measured using existing national administrative databases.
A broadly representative modified Delphi panel process resulted in a consensus on a set of 48 evidencebased quality of care indicators for EDs. Future work is required to generate technical definitions to enable the uptake of these indicators to support benchmarking, quality improvement, and accountability efforts.
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