Doing Good With OM and OROctober 19, 2022
Title: Disparities in Prioritization and Disposition Decisions in Emergency Departments
Abstract: Prior research has shown that health disparities exist in various forms in Emergency Departments (EDs), where certain patient populations have longer wait times, lower medical resource usage, and higher mortality rates. In this talk, I will discuss disparities in two ED decisions that have not received much attention before: prioritization for rooming after triage and disposition decision. Using data from a large academic ED, we identified patient age and race as characteristics that are associated with deviation from a first-come-first-served prioritization rule among patients with a similar triage acuity. We also found that ED disposition decisions, specifically whether or not a patient is admitted to the hospital after their ED stay, correlated with patient sex, race, and ethnicity. These findings suggest that there may be demographic disparities in ED rooming and disposition decisions after adjusting for clinical characteristics. Our results also support the hypothesis that there is an association between these disparities and ED crowding. I will conclude my talk with our ongoing work on solutions to diminish the effects of such disparities in EDs.