Waiting Time for Specialist Consultation and Visit Requested in the Emergency Department; a Cross-Sectional Study
Introduction: Waiting time in the hospital directly affects the quality of healthcare providing centers. One of the waiting times in hospital is the time spent waiting for receiving various consultations and visits requested by emergency medicine specialists from specialist services. Objective: The present study was designed and performed to assess the waiting times for receiving specialist visits and consultations requested in the emergency department based on the corresponding service in a referral hospital in Isfahan, Iran. Method: In the present cross-sectional study, patients presenting to emergency department of Dr. Shariati Hospital, Isfahan, Iran, from October 2017 to March 2018, who were in need of visit or consultation from other specialist services based on the opinion of the emergency medicine specialist, were studied. By attending the patients’ bedside, the researcher filled out a checklist consisting of demographic data and waiting time of the patients and other probable related factors. Finally, raw data were entered to the computer and after correction of errors were statistically analyzed via SPSS software. Results: Overall, 400 patients with the mean age of 53.3 ± 24.3 years were included in the study, 58.8% of which were male. Mean waiting time for receiving a visit or consultation among the studied patients was 242.0 ± 202.4 (min: 5 and max: 1200) minutes. Mean waiting time for a visit or consultation did not significantly correlate with the corresponding physician being resident or on-call. However, it showed a statistically significant correlation with triage level (p = 0.013), work shift (p = 0.000), type of service requested/the specialist service asked for a consultation or visit (p = 0.049), and the consultation or visit being emergent or non-emergent (p = 0.000). In addition, emergent visits or consultations by on-call physicians had been performed significantly faster than those by resident physicians; while non-emergent visits or consultations by resident physicians had been performed significantly faster than those by on-call physicians (p = 0.001). Conclusion: The results of the present study showed that patients with triage level 2, emergent visit of consultation and a visit or consultation request in the morning or evening shift wait a shorter time for receiving the visit or consultation. In addition, neurosurgery, nephrology, and pediatrics services had the shortest waiting times, while gastroenterology, gynecology, and infectious disease services had the longest waiting times for giving the visit or consultation requested from them.
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