Emergency Room Observation Essays

Other Emory co-authors include: Jason Hockenberry, Ph D, assistant professor of health policy and management at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health; Matthew Wheatley, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine and Stephen Pitts, MD, MPH, associate professor of emergency medicine.Hospital physicians' time is a critical resource in medical care. First, the time spent in direct patient contact – a key principle of effective medical care."While these units are designed to shorten lengths-of-stay and lower hospital costs, the savings may also benefit the patients, by potentially decreasing the out-of-pocket costs associated with prolonged observation visits." According to the researchers, 37 percent of all admissions from the ED spend less than two nights in the hospital, and 23 percent of all ED admissions have a type 1 unit-eligible diagnosis, meaning those patients could avoid inpatient admission. For most, it is in a type 4 setting, a bed in a hospital with unstructured care provided at the discretion of the treating physician.

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Half of these hospitals (one-sixth of all hospitals) use condition specific protocols (type 1 setting); the other half do not (type 2 setting).

Observation units within Emory Healthcare are in demand and stay busy.

Emory University Hospital has an eight-bed observation unit.

Most patients being observed in these units stay from 17 to 24 hours, but no more than 48 hours.

Common complaints in observation units consist of chest pain, fainting, fluid and electrolyte disorders, abdominal pain and TIAs, among other conditions.


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