Background: Management and care of the acutely ill patient has improved over the last years due to introduction of systematic assessment and accelerated treatment protocols. We have, however, sparse knowledge of the association between patient status at admission to hospital and patient outcome. A likely explanation is the difficulty in retrieving all relevant information from one database. The objective of this article was 1) to describe the formation and design of the 'Acute Admission Database', and 2) to characterize the cohort included.
Methods: All adult patients triaged at the Emergency Department at Hillerød Hospital and admitted either to the observationary unit or to a general ward in-hospital were prospectively included during a period of 22 weeks. The triage system used was a Danish adaptation of the Swedish triage system, ADAPT. Data from 3 different data sources was merged using a unique identifier, the Central Personal Registry number; 1) Data from patient admission; time and date, vital signs, presenting complaint and triage category, 2) Blood sample results taken at admission, including a venous acid-base status, and 3) Outcome measures, e.g. length of stay, admission to Intensive Care Unit, and mortality within 7 and 28 days after admission.
Results: In primary triage, patients were categorized as red (4.4%), orange (25.2%), yellow (38.7%) and green (31.7%). Abnormal vital signs were present at admission in 25% of the patients, most often temperature (10.5%), saturation of peripheral oxygen (9.2%), Glasgow Coma Score (6.6%) and respiratory rate (4.8%). A venous acid-base status was obtained in 43% of all patients. The majority (78%) had a pH within the normal range (7.35-7.45), 15% had acidosis (pH < 7.35) and 7% had alkalosis (pH > 7.45). Median length of stay was 2 days (range 1-123). The proportion of patients admitted to Intensive Care Unit was 1.6% (95% CI 1.2-2.0), 1.8% (95% CI 1.5-2.2) died within 7 days, and 4.2% (95% CI 3.7-4.7) died within 28 days after admission.
Conclusions: Despite challenges of data registration, we succeeded in creating a database of adequate size and data quality. Future studies will focus on the association between patient status at admission and patient outcome, e.g. admission to Intensive Care Unit or in-hospital mortality.