Original/Research Article

Utilization of Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) Method in Increas-ing the Revenue of Emergency Department; a Prospective Cohort Study

Ali Shahrami, Farhad Rahmati, Hamid Kariman, Behrooz Hashemi, Majid Rahmati, Alireza Baratloo, Mohammad Mehdi Forouzanfar, Saeed Safari (Author)

Archives of Academic Emergency Medicine, Vol. 1 No. 1 (2013), 1 Aban 2013, Page 1-6

Introduction: The balance between revenue and cost of an organization/system is essential to maintain its survival and quality of services. Emergency departments (ED) are one of the most important parts of health care delivery system. Financial discipline of EDs, by increasing the efficiency and profitability, can directly affect the quality of care and subsequently patient satisfaction. Accordingly, the present study attempts to investigate failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) method in identifying the problems leading to the loss of ED revenue and offer solutions to help fix these problems. Methods: This prospective cohort study investigated the financial records of ED patients and evaluated the effective errors in reducing the revenue in ED of Imam Hossein hospital, Tehran, Iran, from October 2007 to November 2009. The whole department was divided into one main system and six subsystems, based on FMEA. The study was divided into two phases. In the first phase, the problems leading to the loss of revenue in each subsystem were identified and weighted into four groups using risk priority number (RPN), and the solutions for fixing them were planned. Then, in the second phase, discovered defects in the first phase were fixed according to their priority. Finally, the impact of each solution was compared before and after intervention using the repeated measure ANOVA test. Results: 100 financial records of ED patients were evaluated during the first phase of the study. The average of ED revenue in the six months of the first phase was 73.1±3.65 thousand US dollars/month. 12 types of errors were detected in the predefined subsystems. ED revenue rose from 73.1 to 153.1, 207.06, 240, and 320 thousand US dollars/month after solving first, second, third, and fourth priority problems, respectively (337.75% increase in two years) (p<0.001). 111.0% increase in the ED revenue after solving of first priority problems revealed that they were extremely indispensable in decreasing the revenue (p<0.0001). Conclusion: The findings of the present study revealed that FMEA could be considered as an efficient model for increasing the revenue of emergency department. According to this model, not recording the services by the nursing unit, and lack of specific identifying code for the patients moving from ED to any other department, were the two first priority problems in decreasing our ED revenue.

Accuracy of Ultrasonography in Confirmation of Adequate Reduction of Distal Radius Fractures

Mehrdad Esmailian, Ehsan Haj Zargarbashi, Babak Masoumi, Mehdi Karami (Author)

Archives of Academic Emergency Medicine, Vol. 1 No. 1 (2013), 1 Aban 2013, Page 7-10

Introduction: Restoration of normal anatomic alignment is a key component of the treatment of distal radius fractures (DRF). This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of ultrasonography (US) in determining the adequacy of closed reduction in these fractures. Methods: DRF patients admitted to the emergency department of Al-Zahra Hospital, Isfahan, Iran from September 2011 to 2012, were enrolled. After closed reduction, the adequacy was investigated through both US and control plain radiography. Then, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predicative values of US in confirmation of closed reduction was evaluated. In addition, inter-rater agreement between the two diagnostic tools was analyzed by calculating Cohen’s kappa coefficient. Results: Finally, 154 patients were evaluated (females: 53.9%) with mean age of 40.03±14.7 (range: 22-73). US had sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value of 99.3% (95%CI: 96.2-99.9), 100.0% (95%CI: 62.9-100.0), 100.0% (95%CI: 97.5-100.0), and 88.9% (95%CI: 51.7-98.1) in confirmation of the adequate reduction, respectively. In addition, inter-rater reliability was 0.94 (95%CI: 0.89-0.99; p<0.0001). Conclusion: It seems that US could be considered as a highly sensitive, accurate, easy to use, noninvasive and safe tool for guidance and confirmation of closed reduction in DRF.

Nerve Stimulator Guided Axillary Block in Painless Reduction of Distal Radius Fractures; a Randomized Clinical Trial

Hossein Alimohammadi, Majid Shojaee, Mehdi Samiei, Somayeh Abyari, Ali Vafaee, Alireza Mirkheshti (Author)

Archives of Academic Emergency Medicine, Vol. 1 No. 1 (2013), 1 Aban 2013, Page 11-14

Introduction: Given the high prevalence of upper extremity fractures and increasing need to perform painless reduction in the emergency departments, the use of analgesic methods with fewer complications and more satisfaction appears to be essential. The aim of this study is comparison the nerve stimulator guided axillary block (NSAB) with intravenous sedation in induction of analgesia for painless reduction of distal radius fractures. Methods: In the present randomized clinical trial, 60 patients (18-70 years of age) suffered from distal radius fractures, were divided into two equal groups. One group received axillary nerve block by nerve stimulator guidance and the other procedural sedation and analgesia (PSA) using midazolam/fentanyl. Onset of analgesia, duration of analgesic effect, total procedure time and pain scores were recorded using visual analogue scale (VAS) and the outcomes were compared. Chi-squared and student t test were performed to evaluate differences between two groups. Results: Sixty patients were randomly divided into two groups (83.3% male). The mean age of patients was 31 ±0.7 years. While the onset of analgesia was significantly longer in the NSAB group, the mean total time of procedure was shorter than PSA (p<0.001). The NSAB group needed a shorter post-operative observation time (P<0.001). Both groups experienced equal pain relief before, during and after procedure (p>0.05). Conclusion: It seems that shorter post-operative monitoring time and consequently lesser total time of procedure, make nerve stimulator guided axillary block as an appropriate alternative for procedural sedation and analgesia in painless reduction of distal radius fractures in emergency department.

Sonographic Optic Nerve Sheath Diameter as a Screening Tool for Detection of Elevated Intracranial Pressure

Afshin Amini, Razieh Eghtesadi, Ali Mohammad Feizi, Behnam Mansouri, Hamid Kariman, Ali Arhami Dolatabadi, Hamidreza Hatamabadi, Ali Kabir (Author)

Archives of Academic Emergency Medicine, Vol. 1 No. 1 (2013), 1 Aban 2013, Page 15-19

Introduction: Timely diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic elevated intracranial pressure (EICP) could be reduced morbidity and mortality, and improved patients’ outcome. This study is trying to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of sonographic optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) in detection of EICP. Methods: Sonographic ONSD of patients with head trauma or cerebrovascular accident suspicious for EICP were evaluated by a trained chief resident of emergency medicine, who was blind to the clinical and brain computed tomography scan (BCT) findings of patients. Immediately after ultrasonography, BCT was performed and reported by an expert radiologist without awareness from other results of the patients. Finally, ultrasonographic and BCT findings regarding EICP were compared. To evaluate the ability of sonographic ONSD in predicting the BCT findings and obtain best cut-off level, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve were used. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), positive likelihood ratio (PLR), and negative likelihood ratio (NLR) of sonographic ONSD in determining of EICP was calculated. P < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant. Results: There were 222 patients (65.3% male), with mean age of 42.2±19.5 years (range: 16-90 years). BCT showed signs of EICP, in 28 cases (12.6%). The means of the ONSD in the patients with EICP and normal ICP were 5.5 ± 0.56 and 3.93 ± 0.53 mm, respectively (P<0.0001). ROC curve demonstrated that the best cut off was 4.85 mm. Sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, PLR, and NLR of ONSD for prediction of EICP were 96.4%, 95.3%, 72.2%, 98.9%, 20.6, and 0.04, respectively. Conclusion: Sonographic diameter of optic nerve sheath could be considered as an available, accurate, and noninvasive screening tool in determining the elevated intracranial pressure in cases with head trauma or cerebrovascular accident.

Emergency Department Performance Indexes Before and After Establishment of Emergency Medicine

Behrooz Hashemi, Alireza Baratloo, Farhad Rahmati, Mohammad Mehdi Forouzanfar, Maryam Motamedi, Saeed Safari (Author)

Archives of Academic Emergency Medicine, Vol. 1 No. 1 (2013), 1 Aban 2013, Page 20-23

Introduction: Emergency department performance index (EPI) greatly influences the function of other hospital’s units and patient satisfaction. Recently, the Iranian Ministry of Health has defined specific national EPI containing five indexes. In the present study the performance indexes of emergency department (ED) in one educational hospital has been assessed before and after establishment of emergency medicine. Methods: In the present cross-sectional study the ED of Shohadaye Tajrish Hospital, Tehran, Iran was assessed during one-year period from March 2012 to February 2013. The study was divided into two six-month periods of before and after establishment of emergency medicine. Five performance indexes including: the percentage of patients were disposed during 6-hour, leaved the ED in a 12-hour, had unsuccessful cardiopulmonary resuscitations (CPR), discharged against medical advice, and the mean time of triage were calculated using data of department of medical records on daily patients’ files. Then, Mann-Whitney U test was used to make comparisons at P<0.05. Results: The average triage time decreased from 6.04 minutes in the first six months to 1.5 minutes in the second six months (P=0.06). The percentage of patients leaving the ED in a 12-hour decreased from 97.3% to 90.4% (P=0.004). However, the percentage of disposed patients during 6-hour (P=0.2), unsuccessful CPR (P=0.34) and discharged against medical advice (P=0.42) did not differ between the two periods. Conclusion: It seems that establishment of emergency medicine could be able to improve ED performances indexes such as time to triage and leave in a 12-hour period.

Brief Report

Report of 267 Cases of Scorpion Bite Referring to an Emergency Department during One Year

Mohammad Manouchehrifar, Shaghayegh Khosravi, Ali Khavanin, Niloufar Derakhshandeh (Author)

Archives of Academic Emergency Medicine, Vol. 1 No. 1 (2013), 1 Aban 2013, Page 24-26

Scorpion bite is a common health problem in many parts of the world, including the Iran’s tropics. There are thousands of cases and a number of deaths due to scorpion bite every year in the country. The present study aims to provide further data regarding the details, complications and outcomes of scorpion bite cases referring to Razi Hospital, Ahwaz, from March 2011 to April 2012. 267 patients (56.3% females) with a mean age of 35.2±15.8 years were included in the study. The most common genus of scorpion involved was Hemiscorpius (69.3%) and the most frequent body part involved was the lower limb (38.9%). The frequency of hemolysis-induced renal insufficiency and death after scorpion bite were 1.9% and 1.1%, respectively. Of all the factors evaluated in this series only the old age was associated with higher possibility of renal insufficiency (P<0.001).

Photo Quiz

A 33-year-old woman with severe postpartum headache

Hosein Delavar Kasmaei, Alireza Baratloo, Maryam Soleymani (Author)

Archives of Academic Emergency Medicine, Vol. 1 No. 1 (2013), 1 Aban 2013, Page 27-29


atient was a 33-year-old woman underwent her first time cesarean section combined with spinal epidural anesthesia 5 days before and discharged the day after with good condition. She got severe headache with pain score about 8-9, 2 days after discharge from hospital. Her headache was severe, bilateral, pulsatile and almost likely sudden onset accompanied with nausea that mildly progressed after starting.