Indicators for Emergency and Urgent Medical Services

Indicators for Emergency and Urgent Medical Services

Ana Paula Barbosa Sobral, Aline Rangel de Oliveira, Adalberto da Cruz Lima, Guilherme dos Santos Silva, Patrick Fernandes Ribeiro da Fonseca
Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-5185-4.ch005
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The objective of this work is to carry out a literature review on indicators for emergency and urgent healthcare units aimed to identify the main measures within the context of healthcare services. A search was conducted on the Scopus and PubMed databases using two strategies aimed to conduct research on studies about indicators for emergency and urgent healthcare units. This work allowed identifying the main indicators used in the context of emergency and urgent medical services, which are length of stay, left without being seen, national emergency department overcrowding scale, among others. In addition, it was found that such indicators provide suitable and viable means to assess, review, and display the quality of health systems. It was found in some studies that the use of indicators is used only as a measure whose value is monitored by systems, but it does not lead managers to an action plan.
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Conceptual Framework

This section presents a general definition of indicators used to measure the quality of service in emergency and urgent units of a health system. Healthcare indicators are selected according to objectives defined for daily routines. Essentially, the objective is the expected resolution of a problem that managers face in their daily routine. In addition, every indicator must have a target, i.e., a value that must be reached in a given period of time. The difference between the current value of the indicator and the target is called a gap. Gap detection should lead managers to discover the cause and take corrective actions. In other words, indicators must lead managers to act towards achieving expected results.

It is also worth mentioning the issue of overcrowding of patients in emergency departments. Overcrowding is considered as a concern, since it significantly affects patients and healthcare professionals. The tension caused by patient overcrowding generates a deficit in the quality of emergency healthcare. It has been associated with reduced access to emergency medical services, delays in assisting cardiac patients, increased patient mortality, prolonged patient transport time, improper pain management, violence from irritated patients against staff, increased costs of patient care and decreased physician job satisfaction (Hoot et al., 2007).

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