Research and Scholarship

Evaluation of Emergency Department Visits by Oncology Patients: A Running Comparison to Admissions and ED Visits Under the CMS OP-35 Ruling

Nada Alsuhebany,(1,2,3) BSPharm, PharmD, BCOP, Jamie Brown,(4) PharmD, MBA, Jacquelyne Echave,(5) and Ali McBride,(5) PharmD, MS, BCPS

From (1)College of Pharmacy, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; (2)King Abdulaziz Medical City, National Guard Health Affairs, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; (3)King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; (4)Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona; (5)The University of Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson, Arizona

Authors’ disclosures of conflicts of interest are found at the end of this article.

Correspondence to: Ali McBride, PharmD, MS, BCPS, 3838 N. Campbell Avenue, Tucson, Arizona 85719. E-mail: alimcbride@gmail.com


J Adv Pract Oncol 2022;13(4):367–378 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2022.13.4.2 | © 2022 Harborside™


  

ABSTRACT

Background: Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. The incidence of emergency department (ED) visits by oncology patients has grown over the past years. Some ED visits are medically unnecessary and could be prevented with improved prevention measures. Objectives: To evaluate the incidence and causes of ED visits by cancer patients and evaluate outcomes and disposition of ED visits. Methods: This single-center, retrospective chart review was conducted in a tertiary medical hospital. We collected data using an electronic medical record and included oncology patients with active cancer who had ED visits from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018. Key data collection included baseline demographics; type of malignancy; main chief complaint; clinic visit history; current and past ED visits; treatment and supportive care data; and disposition status if admitted. Pregnant patients, patients without active cancer, and patients who received outpatient care at clinics other than the University of Arizona Cancer Center were excluded. Results: This chart review study screened 1,659 encounters and included 205 encounters. Approximately 70% of the encounters were solid tumor patients and 30% were hematologic malignancies. Nearly 50% of the patients with hematologic malignancies had preventable ED visits while 32.8% of solid tumor patients had preventable ED visits. The most common preventable ED visit reasons in both groups were pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and dehydration. Almost 50% of the patients in both groups were hospitalized with a median length of stay of 3 days. The majority of admitted patients were discharged home in both the solid tumor (82.3%) and hematologic malignancy (83.8%) groups. Conclusion: This study showed that the rate of preventable visits was numerically higher in the hematologic cancer group compared with the solid tumor group. These findings highlight the potential need for implementing prevention measures in the future.




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