Multicultural Emergency Medicine Epidemiology

MEME is a retrospective database consisting of all patients who presented to all South Western Sydney Local Health District Hospital Emergency Departments from 2014 to 2021, using the electronic medical record and electronically linking all the data to the hospital’s inpatient electrical medical record, pathology and radiology databases. This allows researchers to follow the patient journey as they move through the healthcare system from the Emergency Department all the way to their discharge from the hospital. This allows epidemiological researchers to view if there are any differences, changes and improvements in diagnosis, interventions and patient outcomes between patient groups to be completed through large scale retrospective cohort studies.

Recent Australian national data report just over eight million separate episodes of care over the preceding 12 months, increasing by 2.5% per year. After their resuscitation, diagnosis and treatment in the ED, including blood test, x-rays, CT scans and other investigations, up to 40% of patients are admitted to hospital, with the rest discharged into the community; if admitted, it may be to a medical or surgical ward, intensive care, coronary care, or straight to the operating theatre or cath lab if their condition is life-threatening. Finally, after hospital stays, rehabilitation and multidisciplinary evaluation they may return home to the care of their family and their primary care team. This patient care journey however is contained within multiple databases and may only be analysed using complex database queries, involving multiple teams with multiple skill sets.

This project aims to assist in allowing researchers with the necessary skills and approvals in order to better interrogate this dataset and provide better, more contemporaneous insights into this emergency patient journey.