Background In 1998 ‘Dubdoc’, Ireland's first out-of-hours general practice emergency service, opened in an outpatient suite in St James's Hospital with a separate entrance 300 m from the emergency department (ED). Dubdoc was established with the aim of providing an easy access out-of-hours service for ambulatory patients of those doctors supplying the service.
Aim To determine whether ED attendances for patients in the lower acuity triage categories 4 and 5 have changed since the establishment of ‘Dubdoc’.
Methods A retrospective review of all attendances at the ‘Dubdoc’ service was compared with attendances at the ED for triage categories 4 and 5 of the same hospital over a 9-year period (1999–2007 inclusive) for equivalent times of day.
Results ED attendances during ‘Dubdoc’ hours have decreased as a proportion of all attendances for triage categories 4 and 5. ED attendances for triage categories 4 and 5 fell substantially during the study period.
Conclusions Although the presence of the ‘Dubdoc’ service has resulted in a decrease in ED attendances for triage categories 4 and 5, this is a minor proportion of the overall decrease in attendances in this group of patients.
- Doctors in PHC
- comparative system research
- emergency care systems
- prehospital care, doctors in PHC
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Funding CT was funded by the Health Research Board of Ireland through the HRB Centre PRIMCARE under grant 1139.
Competing interests FDO'K is a member of Dubdoc. PKP is Clinical Director in Emergency Medicine at St James's Hospital. Both were involved in the initial setting up of DubDoc.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.