Dr Alexander Murray-Douglass1, Dr Elizabeth Vujcich1
1Royal Brisbane And Women’s Hopsital, , Australia
Patients who live rurally have poorer access to healthcare and present to tertiary care later than those from major cities. The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) Burns Unit catchment extends across Queensland and Northern New South Wales; however, Brisbane is not located centrally within this catchment. Consequently, many patients travel large distances to and from the RBWH. Length of admission is known to be prolonged by more severe burns with complications but has not been shown to differ based on discharge destination. This clinical improvement study aimed to determine if length of admission was associated with the distance between the RBWH and patients’ discharge destinations (the discharge distance). It also audited the effect of burn severity on admission duration at the RBWH and evaluated if COVID had affected admission duration.
The RBWH Burns database was searched to extract data for admitted burns patients between 2017 and 2021. Multiple linear regression was used to examine the primary and secondary aims.
1,574 patients were admitted to the RBWH for burns. Linear regression revealed that length of admission increased as the discharge distance increased. Length of admission was also positively correlated with burn TBSA. COVID did not appear to affect admission duration.
In our unit, burns admissions are longer for patients who live further away from the RBWH. With this in mind, patients from rural areas can be expected to have prolonged admissions and this barrier to discharge can be identified and addressed early in the admission.
Alex is an Intern at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. He is wishing to pursue a career in surgery and is involved with research to better understand surgical issues.