Point prevalence epidemiology of presentations to an Australian Emergency department - The One Day in Emergency (ODE) study

-David Toro

The one day in emergency (ODE) study

The One Day in Emergency study was a study we conducted to investigate the demographic characteristics of patients presenting to Liverpool Hospital in Sydney, which was conducted over the time period of 24 hours. The aim of the project was to investigate epidemiological characteristics such as patterns of presentation, clinical characteristics, and ED length of stay for these patients across the 24-hour period under study. This study was conducted in order to investigate activity in the ED as a whole, rather than focusing on any one specific pathology.

Data for this study was extracted from eMR Firstnet and the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) Adult Patient Database (APD), along with paper sources which were manually linked into the UNSW REDCap database. The Rapid Acute Physiology Score (RAPS), a tool for measuring severity of pathology in critical care, was calculated for all patients with more than two vital sign measurements, and was used to assess improvement in patient condition. In total, 241 patients’ data was collected. Analysis revealed gaps in ED practice such as inconsistent data collection and extended ED length of stay.

This study was able to conclude that the study of epidemiological data collection in the ED is a feasible undertaking. However, there were issues with missing data from paper based charts and the ability to collect data from electronic sources such as eMR FirstNet. In addition, the smaller sample size and single point of data collection was a limitation to generalisability, and impeded predictive modelling. The study noted that future epidemiological studies might be better served by placing an emphasis on centralised technological data collection.