Quick diagnostic unit integrated in an emergency department setting reduces medical admissions – an observational study

Dan Brun Petersen, Thomas Andersen Schmidt

Abstract


Background: Hospitals in countries with public health systems have recently adopted organizational changes to improve efficiency and resource allocation, and reducing inappropriate hospitalizations has been established as an important goal, as well as avoiding or buffering overcrowding in Emergency Departments (EDs).

Aims: Our goal was to describe the impact of a Quick Diagnostic Unit established on January 1, 2012, integrated in an ED setting in a Danish public university hospital following its function for the first year.

Design: Observational, descriptive and comparative study.

Methods: Our sample comprised the total number of patients being admitted and discharged from the Department of Internal Medicine in 2011 and 2012, with special focus on the General Medicine Ward.

Results: Compared with 2011 the establishment of the Quick Diagnostic Unit integrated in the Emergency Department resulted in the admittance and discharge of fewer patients (40%; p < .0001) to the hospital’s General Medicine Ward and 11.6% (p < .0001) fewer patients in the whole Department of Internal Medicine.

Conclusions: A Quick Diagnostic Unit integrated in an ED setting represents a useful and fast track model for the diagnostic study and treatment of patients with simple internal medicine ailments, and also serves as a buffer for overcrowding of the ED.



Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5430/jha.v3n3p17

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Journal of Hospital Administration

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

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