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Browsing by Subject "early assessment team"

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  • Kankaanpää, Meri (2016)
    Background: To assess whether the use of point-of-care testing (POCT) and early assessment team (EAT) model shortens emergency department (ED) length of stay (LOS). Methods: This observational study was performed in three phases in a metropolitan ED with 57,000 annual visits. Data were collected from adult ambulatory patients who were discharged home. Phase 1 served as a control (n=1559 in one month). In phase 2, a comprehensive POCT panel including complete blood count, sodium, potassium, glucose, C-reactive protein, creatinine, alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, bilirubin, amylase, and D-dimer was launched (n=1442 in one month). In phase 3 (n=3356 in subsequent two months), POCT approach continued. In addition, the working process was changed by establishing an EAT consisting of an emergency medicine resident and a nurse. The team operated from 12 noon to 10 p.m. was. The primary outcome was LOS (hh:mm) in the ED. Waiting times for patients requiring laboratory testing were analysed also, including time from admission to laboratory blood sampling (A2S interval), time from blood sampling to results ready (S2R interval) and time from results to discharge (R2D interval). Results: Median LOS of patients requiring laboratory tests in phase 1 was 3:51 (95% confidence interval 03:38–04:04). During phase 2, introduction of POCT reduced median LOS by 29 minutes to 03:22 (03:12–03:31, p=0.000). In phase 3, the EAT model reduced median LOS further by 17 minutes to 03:05 (02:59–03:12, p=0.033). Altogether, the process was expedited by 46 minutes compared with the phase 1. Surprisingly, A2S interval was unaffected by the interventions among all patients needing laboratory testing. In comparison to phase 1, shortening of S2R interval was observed in phase 2 and 3, and that of R2D interval in all patients with laboratory assessments in phase 3. Conclusions: The advantage of POCT alone compared with central laboratory seemed to lie in shorter waiting times for results and earlier discharge home. Moreover, POCT and EAT model shorten LOS additively compared with conventional processes. However, a longer time is seemingly needed to adopt a new working process in the ED, and to establish its full benefit.