Management of non-urgent paediatric emergency department attendances; a retrospective observational study

Leigh, S. et al. (2021) Management of non-urgent paediatric emergency department attendances; a retrospective observational study. British Journal of General Practice, 71(702), e22-e30. (doi: 10.3399/bjgp20X713885) (PMID:33257462) (PMCID:PMC7716877)

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Non-urgent emergency department(ED) attendances are common among children. Primary care management may not only be more clinically appropriate, but also improve patient experience and cost-effectiveness. AIM: To determine the impact of integrating a general practitioner(GP) into a paediatric ED, on admissions, waiting times, antibiotic prescribing, and treatment costs. DESIGN AND SETTING: Retrospective cohort study of non-urgent ED-presentations in an English paediatric ED. METHOD: From October-2015-September-2017, a GP was situated within the ED, from 2pm-10pm, seven-days-a-week. All children triaged green using the Manchester Triage System(non-urgent) were considered ‘GP-appropriate’. In cases of GP non-availability, non-urgent children were managed by ED-staff. We compared clinical, operational outcomes, and healthcare costs, of children managed by GPs and ED-staff over the same timeframe(2pm-10pm), over a two-year period. RESULTS: Of 115,000 children attending the ED over the study period, 13,099 children were designated ‘GP appropriate’, 8,404(64.2%) managed by GPs and 4,695(35.8%) by ED-staff. Median duration of ED-stay was 39min(IQR 16-108) in the GP-group and 165min(IQR 104-222) in the ED-group(p<0.001). The GP-group were less likely to: be admitted as inpatients (OR 0.16,95%CI 0.13-0.2) and wait longer than four-hours (OR 0.1,95%CI 0.08-0.13), but more likely to receive antibiotics (OR 1.42,95%CI 1.27-1.58). Treatment costs were 18.4% lower in the GP-group,p<0.0001. CONCLUSION: Based on retrospective observational data, children seen by the GP waited less time, had fewer inpatient admissions and lower costs, but experienced higher antibiotic prescribing. Given rising demand for children’s emergency services, ‘GP in ED’ care models may improve the management of non-urgent ED presentations, however further research incorporating causative study designs is required.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:SL is funded by a studentship from the Institute of Infection and Global Health, The University of Liverpool and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 668303 (PERFORM study (Personalised Risk assessment in Febrile illness to Optimise Real-life Management across the European Union).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Robinson, Professor Jude
Authors: Leigh, S., Mehta, B., Dummer, L., Aird, H., McSorley, S., Oseyenum, V., Cumbesr, A., Ryan, M., Edwardson, K., Johnston, P., Robinson, J., Coenen, F., Taylor Robinson, D., Niessen, L., and Carrol, E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
College of Social Sciences
Journal Name:British Journal of General Practice
Publisher:Royal College of General Practitioners
ISSN:0960-1643
ISSN (Online):1478-5242
Published Online:23 November 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Author(s)
First Published:First published in British Journal of General Practice 71(702): e22-e30
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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