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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 29(2); 2018 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2018;29(2): 152-159.
The predictive factors for hospitalization of nonurgent patients visiting an emergency department in an urban area: a single center study
Chae Young Lim1 , Song Yi Park2* , Kyung Hye Park3,4 , Ha Young Park1 , Ji Eun Kim2
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Inje University Haeundae Paik Hospital, Busan, Korea
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Dong-A University Hospital, Busan, Korea
3Department of Medical Education, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Korea
4Department of Emergency Medicine, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Korea
Correspondence  Song Yi Park ,Tel: 051-240-5590, Fax: 051-240-5309, Email: capesongnew@gmail.com,
Received: August 3, 2017; Revised: December 29, 2017   Accepted: February 5, 2018.  Published online: April 30, 2018.
ABSTRACT
Objective:
Emergency department (ED) visits by nonurgent patients are controversial because they are considered one of the causes of ED overcrowding and an example of the improper use of medical resources. On the other hand, some non-urgent patients do require hospitalization. The purpose of this study was to compare hospitalized and discharged patients who were classified as nonurgent upon their initial ED visit and identify the predictive factors associated with hospitalization in nonurgent patients visiting an ED.
Method:
Among a nonurgent patient group visiting an urban university hospital ED in 2016, the hospitalized and discharged patients were compared.
Results:
A total of 13,988 nonurgent patients were analyzed, of which 773 (5.5%) were hospitalized. The predictive factors related to hospitalization for nonurgent patients were as follows: male, age 65 years or older, ED visits during outpatient clinic availability, and in the evening, heart rate greater than 100 per minute, respiration rate greater than 20 per minute and body temperature over 38℃
Conclusion:
Among nonurgent patients, there are patients who require hospitalization. If these predictive factors are considered in the initial ED triage, it should improve the safe treatment of nonurgent patients and improve the efficiency of the use of limited resources.
Key words: Nonurgent; Emergency medical service; Triage; Hospitalization
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