Clinical care requirements of alcohol-related patient presentations made to Emergency Departments: a multi-site study

Mrs Josea Polong Brown1, Ms Katie East1, Doctor Ping Zhang2, Associate Professor Josh Byrnes2, Ms Jill Duncan3, Ms Leonie Jones4, Mr Nathan Brown3, Doctor David Rosengren3, Associate Professor David Green1,2, Doctor Jeremy Furyk4, Doctor Sean Rothwell3, Doctor Julia Crilly1,2
1Gold Coast Health, , Australia, 2Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, , Australia, 3Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, , Australia, 4The Townsville Hospital, , Australia

Background: Alcohol misuse is recognised as a major health issue associated with increased risk of chronic disease, injury and premature death[1]. Whilst around 1 in 100 ED presentations are diagnosed with an ‘alcohol/drug abuse and alcohol/drug induced mental disorder’[2], this is likely an underestimation and thus impacts on the ability to understand the true extent of the problem[3]. With the introduction of prospective clinician-perceived identification of alcohol-related presentations at four major EDs in Queensland, the study was able to profile and describe the care requirements of this specific patient cohort.
Aim: The aim of this study was to describe the clinical care requirements and outcomes of alcohol-related patient presentations made to the ED.
Methods: A multi-site observational study was undertaken in four EDs in Queensland, Australia.  Routinely collected demographic, clinical, outcomes and costings data pertaining to 680 (per site) randomly selected ED patient presentations made between April 1 2016 and August 31 2017 for whom clinicians perceived was alcohol-related, were analysed. This was supplemented with additional data collected via retrospective medical record review with data extracted pertaining to clinical care delivery (i.e. bedside tests, radiology, pathology and referral) in the ED. Descriptive and inferential analysis were undertaken.
Results: Data analysis is currently under way describing the healthcare needs (including bedside tests, radiology, pathology and referral) and outcomes for almost 3,000 alcohol-related presentations made to four EDs. The results will be available to present at the conference.
Conclusion: Findings from this study will describe clinical care requirements and outcomes for people presenting to the ED with alcohol-related illness and injury. These results may help inform if and where potential healthcare savings can be made, especially if there are inconsistencies in clinical practice and outcomes.

Josea is in the early stages of her nursing career. She currently works as a registered nurse at the Robina Hospital Emergency Department, both on the clinical floor and in the research office. She has recently been co-appointed as a site lead at Robina Hospital for the Paediatric Sepsis State-wide Pathway roll-out.