The effect of overcrowding in emergency departments on the admission rate according to the emergency triage level

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 2)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 4,044 words
Lexile Measure: 1430L

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Abstract :

Overcrowding in emergency departments is a serious public health issue. Recent studies have reported that overcrowding in emergency departments affects not only the quality of emergency care but also clinical decisions about admission. However, no studies have examined the characteristics of the patient groups whose admission rate is influenced by such overcrowding. This retrospective cohort study was conducted in a single emergency department between January 1 and December 31, 2018. Patients over 19 years old were enrolled and divided into three groups according to the degree of overcrowding-high, low, and non-based on the total number of patients in the emergency department. An emergency triage tool (the Korean Triage and Acuity Scale) was used, which categorizes patients into five different levels. We analyzed whether the degree of change in the admission rate according to the extent of overcrowding differed for each triage group. There were 73,776 patients in this study. In the analysis of all patient groups, the admission rate increased as the degree of overcrowding rose (the adjusted odds ratio for admission was 1.281 (1.225-1.339) in the high overcrowding group versus the non-overcrowding group). The analysis of the patients in each triage level showed an increase in the admission rate associated with the overcrowding, which was greater in the patient groups with a lower triage level (adjusted odds ratios for admission in the high overcrowding group versus non-overcrowding group: Korean Triage and Acuity Scale level 3 = 1.215 [1.120-1.317], level 4 = 1.294 [1.211-1.382], and level 5 = 1.954 [1.614-2.365]).

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A652074654