Hong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine

Volume 10 Number 1, January 2003

Clinical audit on short stay emergency medical admission

CM Lo, SH Leung, CS Lam, HH Yau

The growth rate of emergency department visit locally is disproportionate to the population growth. The number of emergency hospital admission has also increased leading to congested ward environment. A retrospective clinical audit on short stay (discharged within 24 hours) emergency medical and geriatric admission was done to look at the appropriateness of our emergency medical and geriatric admission. This study was carried out in April 2000. The Appropriateness Evaluation Protocol was employed as an objective tool for initial assessment. A peer panel, composed of Fellows from the Colleges of Physicians and Emergency Medicine, was formed to check for appropriateness of admission for those cases without objective admission criteria. Thirteen out of the 177 cases (7.3%) available for analysis were considered as "inappropriate" admission. If we assume that those emergency admissions that stayed for longer than 24 hours were appropriately admitted, the "inappropriate" admission rate for medical and geriatric cases would be 0.67% (13 out of 1930). Suggestions for further improvement include: (1) longer and intensive observation for selected patients before admission; (2) access to early specialist outpatient review; (3) ad-hoc clinics to be run by other specialists for selected "old" cases; and (4) strengthening of the primary health care service. (Hong Kong j.emerg.med. 2003;10:30-36)

Keywords : Appropriateness Evaluation Protocol, continuous quality improvement, emergency department

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