Demographics and quality assurance in an emergency department in a medical center in eastern Taiwan

S. C. Hu, D. Yen, W. F. Kao

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Abstract

Objective: To understand the demographics of emergency patients (EPs) in eastern Taiwan, as well as the quality of the emergency department (ED) of the only medical center in eastern Taiwan. Patients and Methods: We conducted a retrospective study from July 1999 through June 2000 using analysis of data retrieved from the newly developed medical computer system. Results: During the study period, 19.0% of 51,618 EPs were admitted to the hospital. Most (23.0%) of those admitted patients were from the nontrauma section, followed by those from trauma section (19.8%) and pediatrics (7.9%). More elderly was found in the nontrauma section than in trauma section (25.8% Vs 10.9%, p<0.001). Of these, 4.9% patients were sent by the 119 service. Transferred patients accounted for 3.8%. Non-ambulatory patients were estimated to be 12.7% of all. The Nontrauma section had the most patients in triage category 1, and the pediatric section had the fewest (6.5% Vs 3.1%). Patients who needed hospitalization but could not be admitted because of bed unavailability accounted for 3.3% of EPs. Of the 2.9% of patients who needed intensive care, only 0.1% could not be accomodated. The percentages of transferred patients, patients admitted through the ED, patients sent by the 119 service, non-ambulatory patients and triage category 1 and 2 patients significantly increased after the hospital was upgraded to a medical center compared to the period before (4.1% Vs 3.2%; 19.6% Vs 9.5%; 5.6% Vs 3.8%; 13.4% Vs 10.1%; 7.2% Vs 5.9% and 67.2% Vs 56.7%, p< 0.001, respectively). Conclusions: We conclude that (1) The disease of patients in eastern Taiwan are comparable to those in western Taiwan. However, the ratio of elderly visiting the ED in eastern Taiwan was lower. Further study is needed to verify whether there are more seriously ill patients in eastern Taiwan. (2) The quality of the ED in this hospital is good but, there is still room for improvement. (3) After the hospital was upgraded to a medical center, the number of severely ill patients obviously increased.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-229
Number of pages7
JournalTzu Chi Medical Journal
Volume13
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Demography
  • Emergency department
  • Quality assurance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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