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The use of outcome feedback by emergency medicine physicians: Results of a physician survey

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Rakesh Gupta1, Isaac Siemens2, Sam Campbell3


1 Division of Emergency Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada


2 Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada


3 Department of Emergency Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


Corresponding Author: Rakesh Gupta, Email: rakesh.gupta@medportal.ca


© 2019 World Journal of Emergency Medicine


DOI: 10.5847/wjem.j.1920–8642.2019.01.002


BACKGROUND: Feedback on patient outcomes is invaluable to the practice of emergency medicine but examples of effective forms of feedback have not been well characterized in the literature. We describe one system of emergency department (ED) outcome feedback called the return visit report (RVR) and present the results of a survey assessing physicians' perceptions of this novel form of feedback.

METHODS: An Opinio web-based survey was conducted in 81 emergency physicians (EPs) at three EDs.

RESULTS: Of the 81 physicians surveyed, 40 (49%) responded. Most participants indicated that they frequently review their RVRs (83%), that RVRs are valuable to their practice of medicine (80%), and that RVRs alter their practice in future encounters (57%). Respondents reported seeking other forms of outcome feedback including speaking with other EPs (83%) and reviewing discharge summaries of admitted patients (87%). There was no correlation between demographic data and use of RVRs.

CONCLUSION: EPs value RVRs as a form of feedback. RVRs could be improved by reducing the observational interval and optimizing report relevance and differential weighting.

(World J Emerg Med 2019;10(1):14–18)


KEY WORDS: Return visit reports; Emergency medicine; Outcome feedback; Emergency department information system

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