Patients utilizing emergency medical services - Does facility type matter?

Title

Patients utilizing emergency medical services - Does facility type matter?

Creator

Erin L Simon
Bhanu Wahi-Singh
Baruch S Fertel
Luke Weber
Jessica Krizo
Caroline Mangira
Courtney M Smalley

Date

2023

Description

Background: Emergency departments (EDs) play a critical role in the US healthcare system. As freestanding EDs (FSEDs) are integrated into the acute care landscape, local EMS providers are transporting to these facilities, which may be closer in proximity and provide faster turnaround times. We hypothesized that patients transported via EMS to a freestanding ED required fewer tests and are admitted less frequently than those transported to a HBED. Our objective was to compare testing frequency and admission rates between patients transported via EMS to a FSED vs. HBED.

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of all patients who presented within a large integrated hospital system via EMS to one of 10 HBEDs or one of 6 FSEDs between April 1, 2020 - May 1, 2021. Categorical variables are presented as frequencies and percentages and comparisons between groups were obtained using chi squared tests. Continuous variables are presented as mean and standard deviation and p-values comparing groups were obtained using t-tests. Multiple logistic regression was used to assess the effect of ED type on admission status, labs ordered, and testing performed.

Results: A total of 123,120 encounters were included in our study. Mean age at the FSEDs was 59.9 vs. 61.3 at the HBEDs. At the FSEDs 55.6% (n = 4675) were female vs. 53.0% (n = 60,809) at the HBEDs. At the FSEDs 82.0% (n = 6805) were White vs. 60.7% (n = 68,430) at the HBEDs. We found 50.0% (n = 3974) had Medicare at the FSEDs vs 50.9% (n = 55,372) at the FSEDs. At the FSEDs, 69.5% (n = 5846) had bloodwork vs. 82.4% (n = 94,512) at the HBEDs; 68.3% (n = 5745) had an x-ray at the FSEDs vs. 70.7% (n = 81,089) at the HBEDs; 40.1% (n = 3370) had a CT scan at the FSEDs vs. 44.9% (n = 51,503) at the HBEDs; and 40.6% (n = 3412) were admitted at the FSEDs vs. 56.1% (n = 64,355) at the HBEDs. After controlling for Charlson Comorbidity Index, acuity, age, gender, sex, insurance and race, patients in FSEDs were 35% less likely to be admitted as compared to HBEDs.

Conclusion: Patients brought in via EMS to a FSED were less likely to have blood work, x-ray, or CT scan, and were less likely to be admitted to the hospital than those transported to a HBED.

Source

Am J Emerg Med
. 2023 Feb 21;68:38-41. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2023.02.021. Online ahead of print.

Language

English

Citation

Erin L Simon et al., “Patients utilizing emergency medical services - Does facility type matter?,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed May 25, 2024, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/12276.