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Minerva Pediatrics 2021 Apr 02

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5276.21.05883-7

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Why do patients leave the Pediatric Emergency Department and what happens to them?

Raquel L. BRAGANÇA 1 , Mayara NOGUEIRA 1, Marta PINHEIRO 1, Rita M. MOITA 1, Afonso PEDROSA 2, João VIANA 3, Luis A. SANTOS 1

1 Serviço de Pediatria, Unidade Autónoma de Gestão da Mulher e da Criança, Centro Hospitalar Universitário de São João, Porto, Portugal; 2 Unidade de Desenvolvimento de Software do Centro Hospitalar Universitário de São João, Porto, Portugal; 3 Centro de Investigação em Tecnologia e Sistemas de Informação em Saúde, Porto, Portugal


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BACKGROUND: The dropout rate is an important indicator of the quality of emergency services. The authors intent to evaluate factors that influence abandonments in the Pediatric Emergency Department (PED) and to assess outcome and destination of the highest triage leveled patients.
METHODS: Retrospective analysis of the abandonment cases occurring between 2014 and 2016 in a tertiary hospital, including sociodemographic characterization, temporal factors, triage level, referral from other health services, waiting time and patient attendance. The outcome of the highest triage level was also accessed.
RESULTS: In the three years analyzed, there were 240171 PED visits, with an abandonment rate of 2.57%. PED abandonment was influenced by higher patient attendance and waiting time, a younger age, and less urgent triage level. Only 1.78% of the urgent or emergent patients (level three or two) abandoned the PED. Of these, 44% sought medical care in the next five days, 41% of which in private institutions, 40% in public hospitals and 19% in primary care. Only 0.81% of those were hospitalized.
CONCLUSIONS: The majority of patients who leave the PED do not correspond to urgent cases. Health education awareness campaigns, clinical counseling platforms (online or phone services) and the improved accessibility of primary health care may optimize the usage of health resources. The reinforcement of the teams in times of greater affluence may contribute to decrease the rate of abandonment.


KEY WORDS: Emergency Service, Hospital; Pediatrics; Triage

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