2019 | 3 | 230-236
Article title

Factors determining patient admittance to the observation and consultation areas of the Emergency Department on workdays versus weekends

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Background. In Poland, as in the world at large, Emergency Departments (EDs) face a formidable problem as they are overloaded with an excessive number of patients. It was decided to investigate whether there are any factors which determine patient admittance rates to the observation and consultation areas of EDs. Objectives. The aim of this study is to determine whether differences in the rates of patient visits to emergency rooms (observation and consultation areas) on workdays and on weekends, are significantly determined by sociodemographic variables, patients’ beliefs and knowledge about the functioning of EDs and primary healthcare facilities (PHFs) or health-related variables. Material and methods. A total of 164 patients from the ED of the University Clinical Hospital in Opole were examined. The diagnostic survey method was employed, using the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and an original questionnaire of the authors’ own design. Results. Neither age (p = 0.059), sex (p = 0.687), marital status (p = 0.585), place of residence (p = 0.423), employment status (p = 0.401), the presence of chronic diseases (p = 0.936) nor a lack of trust in primary care physicians (p = 1.000) determined the ED admittance rates on weekdays versus weekends. People who did not know where to seek medical help at night and on national holidays were more likely to visit the ED on weekends than on weekdays (28.5%; 23% vs 10.98%; 9, p = 0.010). Conclusions. It is difficult to define the characteristics of healthcare service recipients visiting the ED in terms of whether the admittance is a on workday or a weekend day. During each shift, the ED staff should be prepared to receive patients of different sociodemographic backgrounds and health statuses, possessing different levels of knowledge and beliefs about the functioning of EDs and PHFs
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