Introduction: Emergency department (ED) crowding is associated with detrimental effects on ED quality of care. Triage liaison providers (TLP) have been used to mitigate the effects of crowding. Prior studies have evaluated attending physicians and advanced practice providers as TLPs, with limited data evaluating resident physicians as TLPs. This study compares operational performance outcomes between resident and attending physicians as TLPs. Methods: This retrospective cohort study compared aggregate operational performance at an urban, academic ED during pre- and post-TLP periods. The primary outcome was defined as cost-effectiveness based upon return on investment (ROI). Secondary outcomes were defined as differences in median ED length of stay (LOS), median door-to-provider (DTP) time, proportion of left without being seen (LWBS), and proportion of "very good" overall patient satisfaction scores. Results: Annual profit generated for physician-based collections through LWBS capture (after deducting respective salary costs) equated to a gain (ROI: 54%) for resident TLPs and a loss (ROI: -31%) for attending TLPs. Accounting for hospital-based collections made both profitable, with gains for resident TLPs (ROI: 317%) and for attending TLPs (ROI: 86%). Median DTP time for resident TLPs was significantly lower (p<0.0001) than attending or historical control. Proportion of "very good" patient satisfaction scores and LWBS was improved for both resident and attending TLPs over historical control. Overall median LOS was not significantly different. Conclusion: Resident and attending TLPs improved DTP time, patient satisfaction, and LWBS rates. Both resident and attending TLPs are cost effective, with residents having a more favorable financial profile.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine