Cohort study on emergency general surgery patients and an observation unit

Dickfos, Marilla, Ibrahim, Hany, Evans, Andrew and Franz, Robert (2017) Cohort study on emergency general surgery patients and an observation unit. ANZ Journal of Surgery, . doi:10.1111/ans.13960

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Author Dickfos, Marilla
Ibrahim, Hany
Evans, Andrew
Franz, Robert
Title Cohort study on emergency general surgery patients and an observation unit
Journal name ANZ Journal of Surgery   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1445-2197
Publication date 2017-03-30
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/ans.13960
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Total pages 5
Place of publication Richmond, VIC Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Formatted abstract

Medium-sized, non-trauma hospitals experience many of the same difficulties as tertiary centres do when it comes to managing emergency general surgery patients. However, acute surgical units are not a financially viable option in these hospitals. To improve the care of emergency general surgery patients at one such hospital, a Rapid Assessment Medical Surgical (RAMS) unit was developed to decrease the time to review and increase the efficiency in caring for these patients.


To assess the unit's effect, a prospective analysis was completed of the patients who came through the RAMS unit over a 6-month period and compared with a retrospective analysis of patients presenting in the same 6-month period the year prior to the unit's instigation.


The RAMS unit was effective in providing an avenue for faster review by the surgical team. This resulted in patients leaving the emergency department faster, decreased the number of patients that breached emergency department time-targets and increased the number of patients discharged after a period of observation or basic treatments.


General surgery patients were managed more efficiently with the RAMS unit in place. However, a full cost analysis is required to determine if such units are cost-effective.
Keyword Cohort study
General surgery
Hospital units
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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