J Korean Soc Emerg Med.  2018 Apr;29(2):170-178. 10.0000/jksem.2018.29.2.170.

The effect of time target on overcrowding and clinical quality in the ED: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Biostatistics Collaboration Unit, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. emstar@yuhs.ac
  • 2Department of Research Affairs, Biostatistics Collaboration Unit, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract


OBJECTIVE
Many studies have reported the effectiveness of the "˜time target' on reducing emergency department (ED) overcrowding and improving clinical quality. This study examined the effects of introducing the time target on ED overcrowding and clinical quality using meta-analysis.
METHODS
The electronic databases including PubMed (Medline), Cochrane Library, and Embase until June 2017 were searched. The search keywords were "˜time target,'"˜national emergency access target,'"˜four-hour rule,' and "˜shorter stays in ED'. Two investigators selected and reviewed articles according to the predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. The quality of the articles was evaluated using the RoBANS checklist. The data were abstracted by predetermined criteria and meta-analysis was performed using RevMan software.
RESULTS
Of 721 articles, 16 studies were included in the final analysis. A meta-analysis of four studies on the ED length of stay (LOS) showed that the mean EDLOS was reduced by 0.64 hours (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.34-0.94) since the introduction of the time target. Other studies also showed that the EDLOS was reduced. There was no definite trend in the hospital admission rate. Meta-analysis of nine studies on the clinical quality revealed a total odds ratio of 1.02 (95% CI, 0.74-1.32). Time taken until the visitation of a doctor and the initiation of treatment were both reduced. The rate of "left without being seen" was decreased.
CONCLUSION
EDLOS was reduced and no significant association was observed between mortality and the application of a time target since the introduction of time target. "˜Rate of revisiting,'"˜time to clinician,'"˜time to treatment,' and "˜rate of left without being seen' was reduced.

Keyword

Healthcare quality indicators; Crowding; Emergency department

MeSH Terms

Checklist
Crowding
Emergencies
Emergency Service, Hospital
Humans
Length of Stay
Mortality
Odds Ratio
Quality Indicators, Health Care
Research Personnel
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