Observation Medicine is a rapidly developing field of Emergency Medicine. It provides flexibility and innovation to a current healthcare system striving to deliver the best quality of patient care in the most cost-effective manner.
The Emergency Department Observation Unit (EDOU) offers an alternative to the dispositions of admission or discharge from the Emergency Department. Patients who may not need hospital admission but who may not yet be safely discharged home can receive additional care in the EDOU. During an observation period generally less than 24 hours, patients undergo additional monitoring, diagnostic testing, and treatment prior to disposition. This additional care helps prevent unnecessary inpatient admissions and ensures safety prior to discharge.
Benefits of the EDOU
The EDOU offers numerous benefits both to the Emergency Department, but an the entire health care system.
The Emergency Department Observation Unit provides:
- Improved quality of patient care
- Reduced health care costs
- Shorter lengths of stay
- Reduced boarding and diversion,
- More efficient patient flow
- Decreased readmission rates
- Improved patient satisfaction
- Decreased medical liability risks