Level of Acuity in Pediatric Patients with Recurrent Emergency Department Visits

Ilene Claudius, Chun Nok Lam

Abstract


Introduction: Recurrent ED utilizers account for a substantial proportion of ED visits, yet little data exists on children with multiple visits. The objective of this study was to compare the need for interventions and triage acuity of recurrent utilizers of a pediatric emergency department to that of non-recurrent utilizers.

Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of children presenting to a pediatric emergency department. Children were classified as recurrent utilizers if they had 4 or more visits to the ED per year and non-recurrent utilizers if they had less than 4 visits. Data was collected and inter-group comparison performed on critical interventions received (admission, consultation, intravenous fluid therapy, observation, and performance of procedures), all interventions received (including critical interventions as well as laboratories, radiographs, and medications), and triage acuity for the index visit.

Results: Two-hundred thirty patients were included, of whom, 15% were classified as recurrent utilizers. This group had significantly lower rates of requiring a critical intervention (8.6% vs. 51.4%, p=.001), lower rates of any intervention (51.4% vs. 74.4%, p=.007), and less urgent triage acuity (3.3 vs. 3.1, p=.029).

Conclusions: Recurrent utilizers of the pediatric emergency department had significantly lower need for intervention and less urgent mean triage acuity when compared with non-recurrent utilizers.


Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5430/jha.v1n2p1

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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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