Pediatric Visits to Community Emergency Departments: Outcomes from Referrals and Unscheduled Return Visits to a Pediatric Center
CPS ePoster Library. Reiner E. Jun 22, 2016; 128131; 60
Ethan Reiner
Ethan Reiner
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Background: Approximately 85% of children in Canada who seek emergency care do so in a general emergency department (ED), yet also have access to a dedicated pediatric ED (PED) within reasonable range. Existing pediatric literature describing return visits to the ED for the same medical complaint – an important quality indicator of ED performance – has yet to report on patient flow patterns from general EDs to a PED.

Objectives: We sought to measure the proportion of children seen at general EDs who subsequently present to a PED for further care. We also sought to elucidate the reasons behind this pattern of revisits, and to describe the clinical management provided at the subsequent visit.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted combining linked administrative databases and health records review. We reviewed all pediatric visits (<17 years of age) at 5 general EDs in Vancouver, linking visits between general EDs and the PED based on clincally compatible presentations. Our primary outcome measure was the proportion of general ED visits with a subsequent visit to a PED (within 7 days) during the 2012-13 fiscal year. Secondary outcomes included reasons for PED consultation, the clinical services accessed, and disposition at the PED.

Result: During the study period, 582/17,824 (3.3%) children seen at GEDs subsequently presented to the PED within 7 days. The top 3 diagnoses among these were: fracture, viral infection, and musculoskeletal complaints. Of the 582 children with a visit to the PED, 167 (28.7%) were referred to the PED for a consultation, while the rest were family-initiated. Referred visits were more frequently associated with pediatric subspecialist consultation than family-initiated visits (41.3% versus 21.7% p

Conclusion: Knowing the proportion, management, and outcomes of children that are treated in a general ED and subsequently at a PED may provide an important quality measure and opportunities to improve the management of common pediatric emergencies in the community.
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