Emergency Department During Long Public Holidays
Seda DAGAR1, Sibel SAHIN2, Yunus YILMAZ3, Ugur DURAK1
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Kars State Hospital, Kars
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Artvin State Hospital, Artvin
3Department of Pediatric Service, Kars State Hospital, Kars
Keywords: Consultation; emergency; holiday; length of stay; test
The purpose of this study is to determine the impact of the expected increase in the volume of patient visits in the emergency department during holiday periods on physicians' tendencies regarding test and consultation requests as well as on the length of time patients stay in the emergency department.
The study groups included all of the patients who visited the emergency department during the nine-day public holiday (Eid al-Adha, a religious festival of sacrifice) celebrations and a nine-day non-holiday “normal” period. The patients' demographic information, reasons for their visits, comorbid diseases, whether or not they had undergone laboratory and screening tests, consultations, length of stay, and the way their visits ended were compared statistically.
Of the 6353 patients enrolled in the study, 3523 (55.5%) were seen in the emergency department during the holiday period, while 2830 (45.5%) were seen during the non-holiday period (p≤0.001). During the holiday period, there was a 1.9% decrease in laboratory test requests (p=0.108), a 7.7% increase in radiology examination requests (p≤0.001), and a 1.2% increase in consultation requests (p=0.063). The patients' length of stay during the holiday period was 55.9±75.3 minutes and was 56.3±71.9 minutes during the non-holiday period (p=0.819). The length of time for the patients who underwent tests or consultations was 88.6±92.8 minutes during the holiday period and 92.6±87.5 minutes during the non-holiday period (p=0.224).
As expected, the number of patient visits to the emergency department increased during the holiday period, but this increase did not lead to a similar increase in test and consultation requests by the physicians, except for radiology examination requests. In addition, the length of time that patients stayed in the emergency department was not affected by the increase in the volume of patient visits during the holiday period.