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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 9(3); 1998 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 1998;9(3): 380-388.
Fast Track System in Emergency Department of Tertiary Hospital
Ok Kyoung Choi, Won Kim, Kyoung Soo Lim
BACKGROUND: In 1996, our emergency department(ED) had 148.4 patients per day and an average time for managing simple and uncomplicated patients was 248 minutes. To relieve congestion, delay and conflict in ED, we have developed Fast Track to treat patients with minor illness rapidly and effectively. The Fast Track area is located in a separate area in front to the main department. The efficiency and effectiveness of new system and patients satisfaction were investigated.
All ambulatory patients(> 15 years of age) were triaged and treated at Fast Track by emergency physicians. Patients, triaged as severe illness, were moved directly to main ED and the other patients with minor illness were managed in Fast Track. We analysed the patients who were managed at Fast Track from Jan. 1st 1997 through Nov. 30th 1997. The total time staying in Fast Track from beginning of trige to final decision such as discharge or admission was recorded retrospectively. A questionnaire was obtained from random patients in the same period to evaluate the patient's satisfaction.
The number of patients who were managed in Fast Track was 13,378, and it was 55.8% of all adult patients who visited ED during the period. The average staying time was decreased significantly with time, (140.9+/-2.9 minutes in June, 125.4+/-2.8 minutes in July, and 97.7+/-1.0 minutes after July). The 75 percentile weighted average time was also decreased significantly; 196 minutes in June, 107 minutes in July, 135 minutes from August to November(p<0.01). The questionnaire were obtained from 107 patients. The results were revealed that 90 of 107 patients(84.1%) were satisfied with emergency care at Fast Track, and the remaining patients expressed unsatisfied comments such as long waiting time(4.7%), overcrowding(1.9%), unsatisfactory care(1.9%).
The Fast Track system could decrease patient's staying time and improve patient's satisfaction. In addition, the efficiency and effectiveness of the acute care in ED would be enhanced by managing minor illness in Fast Track rapidly and effectively.
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