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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 10(2); 1999 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 1999;10(2): 183-190.
Utilization of the Short-Stay Unit in Emergency Department
Seung Pil Choi, Kyu Nam Park, Seung Hyun Park, Se Kyung Kim, Young Min Kim, Woon Jeung Lee, Si Kyoung Jeong, Hwan Yi
Overcrowding of emergency department is a serious and growing problem at St. Mary's Hospital. This has motivated the development of short-stay unit(SSU) as an alternative ward to routine hospital admission and ED discharge. In our hospital a SSU begun to admit patients in January 6, 1997. the SSU received 247 patients from the ED during the eight month interval(January 6, 1997 to August 31, 1997). To examine the utilization of the SSU in ED, we retrospectively analyzed 247 patients admired in SSU from the ED, and compared the average hours per patient with acute gastroenteritis spent in the ED doing the 2-month intervals before(July-August 1996) and after(July-August 1997) the establishment of the SSU. The following results were obtained; 1. The total patients consist of EM 92(37.2%), GS 48(19.4%), IM 24(9.7%), PS 21(8.5%), OS 20(8.1%), OBGY 14(5.7%) and others 28(11.3%). 2. The results of EM patients admitted in SSU from ED 1) Sex ratio of male to female was 1:1.1 and the mean age was 37.3+/-16 years. 2) In diagnosis, acute gastroenteritis was 29 cases(31.5%), multiple contusion 14 cases(15.2%), drug intoxication 12 cases(13%), limb laceration 6 cases(6.5%), tendon rupture offhand 6 cases(6.5%), and others 19 cases(20.6%). 3) Mean length of stay in ED was 9.18 hours. 4) Among 92 patients to the SSU, 79 patients(85.9%) were discharged, 11 patients(11.9%) formally admired to hospital and 2 patients(2.2%) transferred to otherhospital. The mean hospital stay time of the patients admitted to SSU was 2.6 days. 3. There was a significant reduction in the average stay time spent in the ED by treat-and-releasing patients with acute gastroenteritis after the establishment of the SSU(from 14.65+/-9.6 to 7.52+/-5.4 hr/patient, p<0.001). Conclusively, the establishment of the SSU can shorten the average stay time that treat-and-releasing patients spend in the ED, and reduce the number of admixed patients waiting in the ED.
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