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Improving the care of emergency admissions
  1. Geoff Hughes
  1. Professor G Hughes, Emergency Department, Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace, Adelaide, Australia 5000; cchdhb{at}yahoo.com

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NCEPOD, the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death, is a body that reviews clinical practice, completes confidential surveys covering different aspects of medical care and makes recommendations to clinicians and management.1 Emergency Admissions: A journey in the right direction? is its most recent publication; it analyses the care of adult patients admitted to hospital as emergencies.

Emergency admissions account for approximately one-third of all hospital admissions and in 2004–5 (the report examines admissions in February 2005) they increased by 6.5% on the previous year to 4.43 million. NCEPOD assessed systemic and clinical aspects of the immediate and continuing care of these patients in the period immediately after their time spent in an emergency department (ED), primary care or other admission source. Three thousand and forty patients were initially selected, 2219 meeting the inclusion criteria; admission …

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