Epidemiology and Clinical Characteristics of Older Patients Transferred from Long-Term-Care Hospitals (LTCHs) to Emergency Departments by a Comparison with Non-LTCHs in South Korea: A Cross-Sectional Observational Study

Soon Young Yun, Ji Yeon Lim, Eun Kim, Jongseok Oh, Duk Hee Lee

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The South Korean population is rapidly aging, and the number of older patients in long-term-care hospitals (LTCHs) continues to increase. This study aims to investigate the epidemiologic data, characteristics, and clinical outcomes of patients aged 65 years and older transferred from LTCHs to emergency departments (EDs). This is a retrospective study based on National Emergency Department Information System data from 2014 to 2019. Of the 6,209,695 older patients visiting EDs for disease treatment, 211,141 (3.4%) were transferred from LTCHs. Among patients from LTCHs (211,141), 24.2% were discharged from EDs, 43.0% were admitted to general wards, 20.7% were hospitalized in intensive care units, 3.1% were transferred to another hospital, 6.1% returned to LTCHs, and 2.1% died in EDs. ED stays were the longest for those returning to LTCHs (710.49 ± 1127.43 min). Foley catheterization (40.3%) was most frequently performed in preventable ED visits. In South Korea, older patients being discharged from the ED or returning to LTCHs, after being transferred from LTCHs to EDs, increased. ED stays among older LTCH patients were longer than among non-LTCH older patients, contributing to congestion. To reduce avoidable transfer to EDs from LTCHs, it is necessary to discuss policies, such as expanding appropriate medical personnel and transitional treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8879
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

Keywords

  • emergency department
  • long-term-care hospitals
  • older
  • patient transfer

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