Before the Flood: Impact of Coordination of Care and Direct Admissions on Emergency Department Volumes

Emily C. Webber, Benjamin D. Bauer, Chrissy K. Marcum, Mara E. Nitu, Jennifer D. Walthall, Michele S. Saysana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Transfers of pediatric patients occur to access specialty and subspecialty care, but incur risk, and consume resources. Direct admissions to medical and surgical wards may improve patient experience and mitigate resource utilization. Objective We sought to identify common elements for direct admissions, as well as the pattern of disposition for patients referred to our emergency department (ED). Design A retrospective qualitative analysis of patients transferred to our pediatric hospital for 12 months was performed. Different physician groups were evaluated for use of direct admissions or evaluation in the ED. Patients referred to the ED were additionally tracked to evaluate their eventual disposition. Results A total of 3982 transfers occurred during the 12-month analysis period. Of those, 3463 resulted in admission, accounting for 32.55% of all admissions. Transfers accepted by nonsurgical services accounted for 82% of the transfers, whereas 18% were facilitated by one of the surgical services. Direct admissions accounted for 1707 (44.8%) of all referrals and were used more often by nonsurgical services. Of patients referred to the ED (2101 or 55.2% of all referrals), most patients were admitted and 343 (16% of those referred to the ED) were discharged home. Conclusions The direct admission process helped avoid ED assessments for some patients; however, some patients referred to the ED were able to be evaluated, treated, and discharged. Consistent triage of the patients being transferred as direct admissions may improve ED throughput and potentially improve the patient's experience, reduce redundant services, and expedite care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-211
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Emergency Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • central call center
  • direct admissions
  • patient transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine

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