Clair Sullivan, Andrew Staib, Sankalp Khanna, Norm M Good, Justin Boyle, Rohan Cattell, Liam Heiniger, Bronwyn R Griffin, Anthony Jr Bell, James Lind and Ian A Scott

What’s the research –
Exploring the relationship between the Emergency Department Discharge timeliness and in-hospital mortality of patients to help define outcome-focussed Emergency Department performance targets.

Why it’s important –
This paper has been the first to deliver evidence driven targets for public hospital Emergency Department patient flow. It puts patients at the forefront, and explores the relationship between patient mortality and timeliness of care delivery in the emergency department. Study outcomes have been directly translated into government policy in Queensland with patient flow performance targets now being based on the evidence driven targets discovered by this research. The findings have been endorsed by the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM), Australian Medical Association, and the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council.

improving ED discharge timeliness leads to fewer patients dying.

What have we learned –
As compliance to a 4 hour timely ED discharge target improves across hospitals, there is a reduction in in hospital mortality for both admitted and non-admitted ED patients. There is no robust evidence regarding a clinically significant mortality benefit associated with increasing these compliance rates above certain levels. Setting targets based on this study demonstrates an evidence based and clinically supported approach to monitoring the performance of our emergency departments.

Who should read this paper –
The paper is particularly relevant to hospital executive and clinicians involved in defining healthcare policy. It is also relevant to researchers and other stakeholders in health care as it provides a good example of how clinically relevant outcomes can be used to evidence based drive hospital policy.

To read the entire journal article, click here.

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improving ED discharge timeliness leads to fewer patients dying .