Do elective surgical and medical admissions impact emergency department length of stay measurements?

Langhan, Trevor S.
October 2007
Clinical & Investigative Medicine;Oct2007, Vol. 30 Issue 5, pE177
Academic Journal
Background: Emergency department access block is a growing problem in emergency departments across Canada. Access block is defined as hospital occupancy >85% causing emergency department overcrowding. Hospital overcrowding leads to prolonged emergency department wait times, and delays in the transfer of admitted patients from the emergency department to inpatient beds. The relationship between elective admissions to hospital and emergency department wait times has not been adequately assessed. We undertook a simple linear regression analysis of the impact of elective admissions to hospital on emergency department length of stay. Methods: Linear regression analysis of the number of daily elective admissions to adult acute care beds in the Calgary Health Region in the year 2004 and the daily median emergency department length of stay was done to establish the relationship between elective admissions and Emergency Department length of stay. Results: 37,007 patients were admitted to adult acute care beds via the emergency department and 46,020 patients were admitted to adult acute care beds by all other routes. Regression analysis determined that there was no relationship between daily emergency department length of stay and the number of elective admissions per day. Conclusion: For the year 2004, in the Calgary Health Region, elective acute care admissions to hospital had no relationship to emergency department length of stay for patients admitted via the emergency department. Further study is required to determine causative factors that prolong Emergency Department length of stay. Emergency departments across Canada continue to struggle with the demands of providing high quality care with diminishing resources.


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