The problem of this study was to find out the time lapse between admission and discharge of patients entering the selected emergency room and to determine the portion of the total time spent in prescribed, selected areas. The purpose was to determine areas where the major portion of time was spent by patients and to analyze the reasons for the amount of time required to complete patient care. It was hypothesized that there was unnecessary delay in the rendering of patient care in the selected emergency room. Literature was reviewed to provide background information for the study. The descriptive survey method was chosen. An observation guide sheet was developed and employed for collecting the data. A pilot study was conducted. Fifty patients were observed on the 7-3 and 3-11 shifts. General information obtained included age, diagnosis and classification of patients. Results in these areas showed the selected emergency service to be serving a wide range of age groups, types and classes of patients. The patients were arbitrarily divided into three groups according to degree of emergency to identify and establish reasons for the amount of time required to complete patient care. Patient activities were timed in the emergency room from admission to discharge and included 1) the time patients spent waiting for information to be obtained by the nurse, 2) the amount of time before being seen by the physician, 3) the time during which patients waited for care, 4) the time during which patients were receiving care, and 5) the total time patients spent in the emergency room. Waiting for appraisal by a physician was the area of major delay. Areas of apparent avoidable delay were waiting for information and vital signs to be obtained by the nurse, reappraisal by the physician and waiting for miscellaneous activities. Areas of no undue delay were waiting for consultations and for treatments given in the emergency room. Twenty-four percent of the fifty patients waited over 15 minutes for information to be obtained by the nurse. Thirty percent of the fifty patients observed were seen by a physician within 15 minutes of admission. Group I, the acutely ill patients, waited an average of 31 minutes and received an average of 33 minutes of care. Group II, the moderately ill patients, waited an average of 57.5 minutes and received an average of 38 minutes of care. Group III, the nonemergent patients, waited an average of 58.5 minutes and received an average of 22 minutes of care. Observed reasons contributory to the amount of time required to complete patient care included 1) the staffing pattern, 2) the time required to obtain reports from supporting services, 3) overcrowded facilities, 4) inadequate working space and equipment, 5) the physician being out of the department, 6) obtaining consent, 7) waiting for messenger service, 8) other priority patients and the number seeking care, 9) specialists not readily available, 10) locating private physicians, and 11) other miscellaneous factors. The findings of this study upheld the hypothesis that there was unnecessary delay in the rendering of patient care in the selected emergency room.
Matilda Anabelle Mills
Richard T. Walden
Master of Science (MS)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Emergency Medical Services -- organization & administration
viii; 99; iii
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Neal, Pauline, "Time Study of Emergency Care in a Selected Hospital" (1965). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 1587.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives