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|Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples attending Australian emergency departments.
|Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
National Non-admitted Patient Emergency Department Care Database
Episode End Status
Length of Stay
Critical Care Clinical Institute, Epworth HealthCare, Victoria, Australia
|Objective: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients are overrepresented in Australian EDs. The present study aimed to assess their characteristics in utilising ED services at a national level. Methods: This exploratory, quantitative study used 2016-2017 de-identified data from the National Non-admitted Patient Emergency Department Care Database to assess the proportions (with 95% confidence interval) of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians across various aspects of ED presentations, including mode of arrival, triage scale, diagnosis information, episode end status and ED length of stay. Episode level ED data were compared by Indigenous status and geographical remoteness of EDs. Results: Of 7.4 million presentations, 6.58% were Indigenous presentations, with over two-thirds occurring in regional and remote EDs. Indigenous patients were more likely than non-Indigenous patients to arrive to EDs by ambulance and police/correctional services vehicle across all remoteness areas. Additionally, they were more likely to present with respiratory system illness, illness of the skin/subcutaneous tissue/breast and mental/behavioural disorders. Indigenous Australians were more likely to leave EDs before being seen or care complete (odds ratio 1.73, 95% confidence interval 1.71-1.74), and this was observed for patients classified across all levels of triage scale. Conclusions: This is the first national study looking at the characteristics of and reasons for presenting to Australian EDs for Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients. Our findings provide important insight into the potential factors affecting Indigenous patient care, and an impetus for ongoing research and advocacy work to improve the quality of emergency care provided to Indigenous Australians. Keywords: Indigenous; case mix; emergency presentation; health service; remoteness.
|Emergency Medicine Australasia
|Policy and Research Division, Department of Policy and Strategic Partnerships, Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Department of Emergency Medicine, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Faculty of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Department of Emergency Medicine, The Sutherland Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
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