Acute medical assessment units: an efficient alternative to in-hospital acute medical care.
AffiliationDepartment of Medicine, Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Dooradoyle, Limerick. firstname.lastname@example.org
MeSHEmergency Service, Hospital
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CitationAcute medical assessment units: an efficient alternative to in-hospital acute medical care. 2011, 104 (2):47-9 Ir Med J
PublisherIrish Medical Journal
JournalIrish medical journal
AbstractAcute Medical Assessment Units (AMAUs) are being proposed as an alternative to congested Emergency Departments (EDs for the assessment of patients with a range of acute medical problems. We retrospectively reviewed the discharge destination of patients referred to a newly established AMAU during a six-month period. During the same period we contrasted activity in the ED for a similar group of patients. 1,562 patients were assessed in the AMAU. 196 (12.5%) were admitted to an in-patient bed and 1,148 (73.5%) were entered into specific diagnosis-driven out-patient pathways. 1,465 patients attended the ED and 635 (43.3%) were admitted. Out-patient alternatives to expensive in-patient care need to be provided at the 'coal face" of acute referral. The AMAU provides this, and as a consequence admission rates are relatively low. This is achieved by directly communicating with GPs, accessing senior clinical decision makers, and providing immediate access to diagnostically driven outpatient pathways.
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