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Process Management and Outcomes of the Emergency Department of a

Training and Research Hospital in Turkey During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Abstract

Aim

The cooperation and coordination of the emergency department, which welcomes patients during the management of disasters such as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic with the other clinics in a hospital, facilitates the former’s work. In this research, we studied our hospital’s emergency department management during the COVID-19 pandemic and the outcomes of such management.

Methods

In this study, the process followed by patients who visited the tertiary emergency department between March 1, 2020, and April 30, 2020, the preparations made in the emergency department in response to the COVID-19 pandemic via management of confirmed and suspected cases, and the COVID-19 preliminary triage system and its outcomes were evaluated. The statistical significance level was accepted as p < 0.05.

Results

An increase in the total arrival rate (from 50.1% to 66.8%; p < 0.01) was identified in March 2020 compared to March 2019, and a decrease in the total arrival rate was identified in April 2020 (from 49.9% to 33.2%; p < 0.01) compared to April 2019. Admission to all clinics was identified as having decreased 1.35 times and the number of consultations for infectious diseases identified as having increased 3.81 times in April 2020 compared to March 2020. A total of 89.2% of the computed tomography chest scans requested from the emergency department between March 21, 2020, and April 30, 2020, were due to suspected COVID-19. A preliminary triage center was set up outside the emergency department to isolate these patients. Approximately 66.6% of the suspected COVID-19 patients in March 2020 and 91% in April 2020 were discharged for home isolation and followed up with. Arrivals at the emergency department decreased by 66.7% (p <0.01) during the curfews in April but increased by 142.9% on the first day after the curfews (p < 0.01).

Keywords

COVID-19, Pandemic, Emergency Department, Triage, Disaster Management

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