OBJECTIVE: To obtain information on the collection and local use of accident and emergency data. METHODS: A postal questionnaire was sent to 248 English accident and emergency (A&E) departments. Responses were obtained from 217 (88%). RESULTS: Only 87 (40%) of departments were fully computerised, with 109 (50%) using manual systems, and 21 (10%) a mixture of both. Significantly more computerised departments reported that they undertook studies (epidemiological, accident prevention, and resource management) than non-computerised departments. Only limited information on the types of injury studied was provided. The most common topics were childhood accidents, road traffic accidents, and poisonings. Staff in 45 departments (21%) reported membership of safety organisations. Around 90% of departments reported that they notified general practitioners and health visitors of their patients' attendance, usually within 3 d of the event. CONCLUSIONS: Computerisation appears to help the collection of A&E data for public health research. There is scope to increase the involvement of public health and other workers in epidemiological studies using A&E data. A&E departments should themselves become more involved with local safety organisations.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.