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Hospital-integrated general practice: a promising way to manage walk-in patients in emergency departments


Wang, Mathyas; Wild, Stefanie; Hilfiker, Gabriela; Chmiel, Corinne; Sidler, Patrick; Eichler, Klaus; Rosemann, Thomas; Senn, Oliver (2014). Hospital-integrated general practice: a promising way to manage walk-in patients in emergency departments. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 20(1):20-26.

Abstract

RATIONALE, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: The inappropriate use and overcrowding of emergency departments (EDs) by walk-in patients are well-known problems in many countries. The current study aimed to determine whether ambulatory walk-in patients could be treated more efficiently in a new hospital-integrated general practice (HGP) for emergency care services compared to a traditional ED.
METHODS: We conducted a pre-post comparison before and after the implementation of a new HGP. Participants were walk-in patients attending the ED of a city hospital in Zurich. Main outcome measures were differences in total process time, time intervals between stages of care and diagnostic resources used.
RESULTS: The median process time from admission to discharge was 120 minutes in the ED [interquartile range (IQR): 80-165] versus 60 minutes in the HGP (IQR: 40-90) (P < 0.001). The adjusted odds ratio of receiving any additional diagnostics was 1.86 (95% confidence interval 1.06-3.27; P = 0.032) for ED doctors versus general practitioners (GPs) when controlling for patients' age, sex and injury-related medical problems.
CONCLUSION: The HGP is an efficient way to manage walk-in patients with regard to process time and utilization of additional diagnostic resources. The involvement of GPs in the HGPs should be considered as a promising model to overcome the inappropriate use of resources in EDs for walk-in patients who can be treated by ambulatory care.

Abstract

RATIONALE, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: The inappropriate use and overcrowding of emergency departments (EDs) by walk-in patients are well-known problems in many countries. The current study aimed to determine whether ambulatory walk-in patients could be treated more efficiently in a new hospital-integrated general practice (HGP) for emergency care services compared to a traditional ED.
METHODS: We conducted a pre-post comparison before and after the implementation of a new HGP. Participants were walk-in patients attending the ED of a city hospital in Zurich. Main outcome measures were differences in total process time, time intervals between stages of care and diagnostic resources used.
RESULTS: The median process time from admission to discharge was 120 minutes in the ED [interquartile range (IQR): 80-165] versus 60 minutes in the HGP (IQR: 40-90) (P < 0.001). The adjusted odds ratio of receiving any additional diagnostics was 1.86 (95% confidence interval 1.06-3.27; P = 0.032) for ED doctors versus general practitioners (GPs) when controlling for patients' age, sex and injury-related medical problems.
CONCLUSION: The HGP is an efficient way to manage walk-in patients with regard to process time and utilization of additional diagnostic resources. The involvement of GPs in the HGPs should be considered as a promising model to overcome the inappropriate use of resources in EDs for walk-in patients who can be treated by ambulatory care.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of General Practice
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:22 May 2014 08:36
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:52
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1356-1294
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/jep.12074
PubMed ID:24033413

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