Organisational Factors Induce Prolonged Emergency Department Length of Stay in Elderly Patients- A Retrospective Cohort Study

S.H.A. Brouns*, P.M. Stassen, S.L.E. Lambooij, J. Dieleman, I.T.P. Vanderfeesten, H.R. Haak

*Corresponding author for this work

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Study objective To assess the association of patient and organisational factors with emergency department length of stay (ED-LOS) in elderly ED patients (226565 years old) and in younger patients (= 75th percentile of ED-LOS in the study population, which was 208 minutes. Results Data on 1782 emergency department visits by elderly patients and 597 emergency department visits by younger patients were analysed. Prolonged ED-LOS in elderly patients was associated with three organisational factors: >1 consultation during the emergency department visit (odds ratio (OR) 3.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.3-4.3), a higher number of diagnostic tests (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.16-1.33) and evaluation by a medical student or non-trainee resident compared with a medical specialist (OR 4.2, 95% CI 2.0-8.8 and OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.4-3.9). In younger patients, prolonged ED-LOS was associated with >1 consultation (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.4-4.6). Factors associated with shorter ED-LOS were arrival during nights or weekends as well as a high urgency level in elderly patients and self-referral in younger patients. Conclusion Organisational factors, such as a higher number of consultations and tests in the emergency department and a lower seniority of the physician, were the main aspects associated with prolonged ED-LOS in elderly patients. Optimisation of the organisation and coordination of emergency care is important to accommodate the needs of the continuously growing number of elderly patients in a better way.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0135066
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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