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Effect of increased ICU capacity on emergency department length of stay and ambulance diversion.
Ann Emerg Med. 2005 May; 45(5):471-8.AE

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE

Lack of inpatient bed availability has been identified as a major contributor to emergency department (ED) crowding. Our objective is to determine the changes in ED length of stay and ambulance diversion occurring in an urban, academic medical center after an increase in adult ICU beds.

METHODS

This was a secondary analysis of 2 years of hospital administrative data, capitalizing on a natural experiment in which the number of adult ICU beds in the study hospital increased from 47 to 67 (total beds 411 to 431). We analyzed changes in ED length of stay for adults admitted to ICU, telemetry beds, and ward beds and adults discharged home. We also analyzed changes in hours per day spent on 3 types of ambulance diversion: complete diversion (all ambulances), critical care diversion (ambulances carrying patients requiring ICU beds), and diversion of ambulances carrying trauma patients.

RESULTS

The average hours per day on complete ambulance diversion decreased from 3.8 hours to 1.4 hours (66% decrease). Critical care and trauma diversion showed similar decreases. Average ED length of stay for patients admitted to the ICU decreased by 25 minutes (257 to 232 minutes). Average ED length of stay did not significantly decrease for other admitted patients and increased for discharged patients.

CONCLUSION

The most notable change after ICU expansion was a decrease in time spent on ambulance diversion. Increasing ICU beds appears to have shortened ED length of stay for ICU patients but has less effect on other admitted patients and apparently no effect on patients discharged home.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Center for Policy & Research in Emergency Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.mcconnjo@ohsu.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

15855939

Citation

McConnell, K John, et al. "Effect of Increased ICU Capacity On Emergency Department Length of Stay and Ambulance Diversion." Annals of Emergency Medicine, vol. 45, no. 5, 2005, pp. 471-8.
McConnell KJ, Richards CF, Daya M, et al. Effect of increased ICU capacity on emergency department length of stay and ambulance diversion. Ann Emerg Med. 2005;45(5):471-8.
McConnell, K. J., Richards, C. F., Daya, M., Bernell, S. L., Weathers, C. C., & Lowe, R. A. (2005). Effect of increased ICU capacity on emergency department length of stay and ambulance diversion. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 45(5), 471-8.
McConnell KJ, et al. Effect of Increased ICU Capacity On Emergency Department Length of Stay and Ambulance Diversion. Ann Emerg Med. 2005;45(5):471-8. PubMed PMID: 15855939.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Effect of increased ICU capacity on emergency department length of stay and ambulance diversion. AU - McConnell,K John, AU - Richards,Christopher F, AU - Daya,Mohamud, AU - Bernell,Stephanie L, AU - Weathers,Cody C, AU - Lowe,Robert A, PY - 2005/4/28/pubmed PY - 2005/8/27/medline PY - 2005/4/28/entrez SP - 471 EP - 8 JF - Annals of emergency medicine JO - Ann Emerg Med VL - 45 IS - 5 N2 - STUDY OBJECTIVE: Lack of inpatient bed availability has been identified as a major contributor to emergency department (ED) crowding. Our objective is to determine the changes in ED length of stay and ambulance diversion occurring in an urban, academic medical center after an increase in adult ICU beds. METHODS: This was a secondary analysis of 2 years of hospital administrative data, capitalizing on a natural experiment in which the number of adult ICU beds in the study hospital increased from 47 to 67 (total beds 411 to 431). We analyzed changes in ED length of stay for adults admitted to ICU, telemetry beds, and ward beds and adults discharged home. We also analyzed changes in hours per day spent on 3 types of ambulance diversion: complete diversion (all ambulances), critical care diversion (ambulances carrying patients requiring ICU beds), and diversion of ambulances carrying trauma patients. RESULTS: The average hours per day on complete ambulance diversion decreased from 3.8 hours to 1.4 hours (66% decrease). Critical care and trauma diversion showed similar decreases. Average ED length of stay for patients admitted to the ICU decreased by 25 minutes (257 to 232 minutes). Average ED length of stay did not significantly decrease for other admitted patients and increased for discharged patients. CONCLUSION: The most notable change after ICU expansion was a decrease in time spent on ambulance diversion. Increasing ICU beds appears to have shortened ED length of stay for ICU patients but has less effect on other admitted patients and apparently no effect on patients discharged home. SN - 1097-6760 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15855939/Effect_of_increased_ICU_capacity_on_emergency_department_length_of_stay_and_ambulance_diversion_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0196064404016105 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -