Monday, 24 June 2013

Quantifying the proportion of GP and low acuity patients presenting to ED wards.

EmergencyIn an attempt to quantify the numbers of general practice and low acuity patients attending Emergency Department (ED) wards, a group of researchers, including Peter Cameron (DEPM), used a variety of modelling techniques to estimate the numbers of patients that could have been treated by a GP.

The researchers estimated that between 10-12% of ED patients may have been suitable for general practice, and that these patients accounted for 3-5% of total ED stay.  The research was broken up into different time periods per day and this showed that a greater proportion of patients presented during weekday daytime hours (08:00-17:00) and proportionally fewer overnight (00:00-08:00), indicating that patients may present to an emergency ward for reasons other than lack of available general practitioners, as GPs are mostly available during these hours.

This research could have important implications in the development of public health policy, as attempts to reduce ED waiting times have until recently focussed on the creation of GP Superclinics and After Hours clinics.

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