PMID: 15001417Mar 6, 2004Paper

Impact of ambulance transportation on resource use in the emergency department

Academic Emergency Medicine : Official Journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
Adrian MarinovichElizabeth MacNamara


To determine how ambulance transportation is associated with resource use in the emergency department (ED). A retrospective administrative database review of patient visits to a Montreal tertiary care hospital ED in one year (April 2000-March 2001). Measures of resource use included ED length of stay, admission to the hospital, and whether consultations and radiology/imaging tests (excluding plain-film x-rays) were ordered from the ED. During the study period, 39,674 patients made 59,142 visits to the ED. Ambulance transportation was used for 15.6% of these ED visits. Compared with non-ambulance visits, ambulance visits were more likely to be made by older patients (mean age: 68 vs. 47 years), to be made by females (59% vs. 55%), to have a greater triage urgency score (mean on 1-5 scale, with 1 most urgent: 2.7 vs. 3.9), and to occur after office hours, 5 PM to 9 AM (47% vs. 43%). Ambulance visits were also more likely than non-ambulance visits to result in: a longer length of stay (mean: 13.3 hours [95% CI = 13.0 to 13.6] vs. 5.9 [95% CI = 5.8 to 6.0]), hospital admission (40% vs. 10%) (odds ratio [OR]: 5.94 [95% CI = 5.59 to 6.33]), consultations (56% vs. 20%) (OR: 5.15 [95% = 4.86 to 5.45]), and radiology/imaging tests (20% ...Continue Reading


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