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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 186-189

EMERALD: Emergency visit audit of patients treated under medical oncology in a tertiary cancer center: Logical steps to decrease the burden

1 Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India
2 Chiltern International, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kumar Prabhash
Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sajc.sajc_128_17

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Background: We are a tertiary care cancer center and have approximately 1000–1500 emergency visits by cancer patients undergoing treatment under the adult medical oncology unit each month. However, due to the lack of a systematic audit, we are unable to plan steps toward the improvement in quality of emergency services, and hence the audit was planned. Methods: All emergency visits under the adult medical oncology department in the month of July 2015 were audited. The cause of visit, the demographic details, cancer details, and chemotherapy status were obtained from the electronic medical records. The emergency visits were classified as avoidable or unavoidable. Descriptive statistics were performed. Reasons for avoidable emergency visits were sought. Results: Out of 1199 visits, 1168 visits were classifiable. Six hundred and ninety-six visits were classified as unavoidable (59.6%, 95% CI: 56.7–62.4), 386 visits were classified as probably avoidable visit (33.0%, 95% CI: 30.4–35.8) whereas the remaining 86 (7.4%, 95% CI: 6.0–9.01) were classified as absolutely avoidable. Two hundred and ninety-seven visits happened on weekends (25.6%) and 138 visits converted into an inpatient admission (11.9%). The factors associated with avoidable visits were curative intention of treatment (odds ratio - 2.49), discontinued chemotherapy status (risk ratio [RR] - 8.28), and private category file status (RR – 1.89). Conclusion: A proportion of visits to emergency services can be curtailed. Approximately one-fourth of patients are seen on weekends, and only about one-tenth of patients get admitted.

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