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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 44-47

Early burn team consultation in the emergency department improves efficiency and patient throughput

1 Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York, USA
2 University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, Rochester, New York, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Derek E Bell
Department of Surgery/Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, New York 14642
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijb.ijb_15_18

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Objective: The objective of the study is to assess the relationship between expedited burn surgery evaluation and total length of stay (LOS) in the emergency department (ED) in a high-volume tertiary burn care institution and extrapolate these results to the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of patient care. Methods: A retrospective review was performed of all patients evaluated by the burn surgery team and discharged from the University of Rochester Medical Center ED between November 2012 and June 2013. One hundred and three primary patients were identified and their time from arrival to discharge and the timing of burn surgery consultation were analyzed. Patients were stratified into two groups, early and late, based on how soon after arrival they were seen by the burn surgery service. Tests of statistical significance were performed, comparing total time in the ED, time to evaluation by ED provider, and time to evaluation by the burn surgery service. Results: Burn surgery was consulted and evaluated the early group significantly sooner than the late group (early mean: 63 min, late mean: 191 min; P < 0.001). Total ED stay (arrival-to-discharge time) was significantly lower for the early burn evaluation group (early mean: 181 min, late mean: 285 min; P < 0.001). Conclusions: Early burn surgery consultation is associated with a significantly reduced total ED LOS, arguing for immediate burn surgery consultation irrespective of ED provider contact so that patient throughput can be increased. Furthermore, the reduced LOS may translate into higher patient satisfaction, improved patient care, and lower opportunity cost of ED space.

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