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Predictors of Admission in Adult Unscheduled Return Visits to the Emergency Department

Predictors of Admission in Adult Unscheduled Return Visits to the Emergency Department

Western Journal of Emergency Medicine 19(6): 912-918

The 72-hour unscheduled return visit (URV) of an emergency department (ED) patient is often used as a key performance indicator in emergency medicine. We sought to determine if URVs with admission to hospital (URVA) represent a distinct subgroup compared to unscheduled return visits with no admission (URVNA). We performed a retrospective cohort study of all 72-hour URVs in adults across 10 EDs in the Edmonton Zone (EZ) over a one-year period (January 1, 2015 - December 31, 2015) using ED information-system data. URVA and URVNA populations were compared, and a multivariable analysis identified predictors of URVA. Analysis of 40,870 total URV records, including 3,363 URVAs, revealed predictors of URVA on the index visit including older age (>65 yrs, odds ratio [OR] 3.6), higher disease acuity (Canadian Emergency Department Triage and Acuity Scale [CTAS] 2, OR 2.6), gastrointestinal presenting complaint (OR 2.2), presenting to a referral hospital (OR 1.4), fewer annual ED visits (<4 visits, OR 2.0), and more hours spent in the ED (>12 hours, OR 2.0). A decrease in CTAS score (increase in disease acuity) upon return visit also increased the risk of admission (-1 CTAS level, OR 2.6). ED crowding at the index visit, as indicated by occupancy level, was not a predictor. We demonstrate that URVA patients comprise a distinct subgroup of 72-hour URV patients. Risk factors for URVA are present at the index visit suggesting that patients at high risk for URVA may be identifiable prior to admission.

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Accession: 065885441

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 30429921

DOI: 10.5811/westjem.2018.38225

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