Regional variation in outcomes and healthcare resources utilization in, emergency department visits for syncope

Waseem Khaliq, Moeen Aboabdo, Che Matthew Harris, Noor Bazerbashi, Eric Moughames, Nour Al Jalbout, Karim Hajjar, Hind A. Beydoun, May A. Beydoun, Shaker M. Eid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Management of patients with syncope lacks standardization. We sought to assess regional variation in hospitalization rates and resource utilization of patients with syncope. Methods: We identified adults with syncope using the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample from years 2006 to 2014. Demographics and comorbidity characteristics were compared across geographic regions in the US. Multiple regression was conducted to compare outcomes. Results: 9,132,176 adults presented with syncope. Syncope in the Northeast (n = 1,831,889) accounted for 20.1% of visits; 22.6% in the Midwest (n = 2,060,940), 38.5% in the South (n = 3,527,814) and 18.7% in the West (n = 1,711,533). Mean age was 56 years with 57.7% being female. The Northeast had the highest risk-adjusted hospitalization rate (24.5%) followed by the South (18.6%, ORadj 0.58; 95% CI 0.52–0.65, p < 0.001), the Midwest (17.2%, ORadj 0.51; 95% CI 0.46–0.58, p < 0.001) and West (15.8%, ORadj 0.45; 95% CI 0.39–0.51, p < 0.001). Risk-adjusted rates of syncope hospitalizations significantly declined from 25.8% (95% CI 24.8%–26.7%) in 2006 to 11.7% (95% CI 11.0%–12.5%) in 2014 (Ptrend < 0.001). The Northeast had the lowest risk-adjusted ED (Emergency Department) service charges per visit ($3320) followed by the Midwest ($4675, IRRadj 1.41; 95% CI 1.30–1.52, p < 0.001), the West ($4814, IRRadj 1.45; 95% CI 1.31–1.60, p < 0.001) and South ($4969, IRRadj 1.50; 95% CI 1.38–1.62, p < 0.001). Service charges increased from $3047/visit (95% CI $2912–$3182) in 2006 to $6267/visit (95% CI $5947–$6586) in 2014 (Ptrend < 0.001). Conclusions: Significant regional variability in hospitalization rates and ED service charges exist among patients with syncope. Standardizing practices may be needed to reduce variability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-67
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Volume44
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Emergency department
  • Large database
  • Regional variation
  • Syncope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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