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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 14(5); 2003 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2003;14(5): 560-568.
Clinical Analysis of Frequent Attenders of Emergency Department
Michael Sung Pil Choe, Kang Suk Seo, Sin Kam, Jun Seok Seo, Jeong Ho Lee, Dong Hoan Seol, Jae Myung Chung, Jeong Bae Park, Jong Kun Kim
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea. kssuh@knu.ac.kr
2Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.
3Daegu Fatima Hospital, Daegu, Korea.
Overcrowding of Emergency Department (ED) of university hospital is a serious problem to both patients and working staffs of ED. This study sought to characterize patients who were frequent attenders at ED, and to assist the targeting of appropriate future interventions aimed at reducing avoidable presentation.
A retrospective study was undertaken of patients presenting to ED of Kyungpook National University Hospital between December 1, 2001 to November 30, 2002. Frequent attender, defined as a patient with three or more visits to ED over the course of study period, were compared with those who visited ED two or less times, using chisquare analyses, and ANOVA, and defined valid if p< 0.05.
Number of frequent attenders were 449 (2.9%), and their visits to ED were 2,244 (12.3%) times, average 5.0 visits per year. This group comprised of patients of either cancer and/or chronic diseases. Cancer patients of frequent attenders made more visits to ED compare to chronic disease patients, and more than 50% of presented cases are either not requiring tertiary care unit, or it was unnecessary visit to ED at all.
A such small number of patients made surprising number of visits to ED, and most of their visit turns out either unnecessary, or symptom so minor in which either Out Patient Department (OPD) care or local clinic.
Key words: Emergency department, Overcrowding
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