We assessed whether the emergency room at Yaoundé Central Hospital (YCH) met international standards; while analyzing factors that are associated with the length of stay, a key performance indicator of the emergency medicine department. Based on the data of patient admissions and discharges recorded from February 2017 to June 2018 in the emergency room of YCH, data was extracted from about two thousand research subjects; then an observational, non-randomized, cross-sectional study was conducted. The mean length of stay was 23.73±0.634 hours in the emergency room of YCH. Using binomial logistic regression analysis, the diagnostic severity was positively associated with a long length of stay when controlled for other factors, ORa=1.65, p=0.037; bed availability in the peripheral care units, however, did play a confounding role in the relationship, p=0.026. Furthermore, the analysis of the variances showed that less than 1% of the change that occured in the mean length of stay was explained by sociodemographic factors alone; whereas, less than 6% of that change was due to clinical factors. The patient’s mean length of stay in the emergency room of YCH did not meet international standards. Sociodemographic and clinical factors could not alone explain 93% of the observed long length of stay. We should look for other inputs from factors such as patient’s financial capacity or health insurance availability, protocols of care, diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness.
Key words: Emergency medicine department, patient’s length of stay, performance indicator, predictive factors, observational cross-sectional study, low middle income country.
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