Background: Not much is known about the results of the severity classification according to the time of visit to the emergency department and the appropriateness of using a public ambulance when visiting the emergency department.
Methods: This descriptive research study retrospectively reviewed and analyzed the medical records of patients who visited the emergency department of the B general hospital in Seoul from January to December 2019.
Results: A total of 54,297 patients were included in the analysis. Of the total, 34,629 (63.8%) patients visited directly while 14,065 (25.9%) visited through public ambulances, and 10,328 (73.4%) of patients using public ambulances were discharged home. The numbers of daytime and nighttime patients were 24,891 (45.8%) and 29,406 (54.2%), respectively. The mean length of emergency department stay (LoS) of patients classified as emergency was 326 minutes, while that of non-emergency patients was 159 minutes. In addition, the mean LoS of patients classified as Korean triage and acuity scale levels 1 and 2 was 427 min and 430 min, respectively, which was longer than the total of 236 minutes.
Conclusion: We confirmed that patients who visited the emergency department using public ambulances accounted for about 25% of all emergency department visits, and of which 70% were discharged home. In addition, patients with high severity showed a longer mean LoS, and daytime showed higher severity and more patients than nighttime.