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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 11(1); 2000 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2000;11(1): 19-26.
Short-term Revisit to the Emergency Department
Seok Joon Jang, Young Hwan Choi, Jae Wook Ko, Tai Ho Im, Sung Pil Chung, Tae Sik Hwang, Hahn Shick Lee
BACKGROUND: When patients return to the emergency department shortly after being seen, it is generally assumed that their initial evaluation or treatment was inadequate. But in other aspects many short term revisits may be unnecessary in the aspect of emergency care because it is known that substantial numbers of patients use emergency department for nonemergency problems. So we analysed the tendency and the cause of short term revisit patients, determined the rates and the associated demographic, clinical, disease variables as a tool of quality assurance.
We carried out a chart review of patients seen in the emergency department, who revisited within 72 hours, of Young Dong Severance Hospital retrospectively between January 1, 1998 and September 30, 1999 (period 2), and compared with result between April 1, 1990 and March 31, 1991 (period 1) respectively.
In the period 1, the total revisits patients were 204/21,025(0.97%), in that period scheduled revisits were 15.2%, the unscheduled were 84.8%, and the frequent revisits (more than 3 times) were 6.4%. In the period 2, the total revisit patients were 4,722/72,802 (6.49%), in that period scheduled revisits were 86.3%, the unscheduled were 13.7%, and the frequent revisits were 24.8%. The most common cause of revisit during the period 2 is a drug addictor (31.2%) that frequently used the emergency room for seeking drug. CONCLUSIONS : The scheduled revisit patients for dressing, medication, re-evaluation were increased enormously, so the medical care of these patients might be a part of job that performed in emergency department. And if the health care system could support the adequate nursing care facility, the portion of avoidable revisits of emergency department can be decreased. We also found that the emergency department is an important points for the early identification and referral for the treatment of patients who revisited emergency room for seeking drug, and the analysis of physician related factor in revisits patients may be used as a tool of quality assurance in the emergency department.
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