Turkish health care providers’ views on inappropriate use of emergency department: Who, when and why?
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Objective: Inappropriate use of emergency departments is recognized globally as a widespread problem. The study was undertaken to determine the perceptions of emergency department personnel regarding inappropriate use of this department. Methods: The study was undertaken with 124 emergency department employees from six emergency departments in a province of the Eastern Black Sea region of Turkey. Using a questionnaire form designed by the researcher, the data were gathered and analyzed with the chi-square test, numerical and percentage calculations. Results: According to the emergency department employees, more than half of emergency department visits were inappropriate with most visits occurring between the hours of 19: 01 and 01: 00. In order of occurrence, employees also indicated that most inappropriate use concerned requests for prescription renewals, treatment for pain, and upper respiratory tract infections ( URTI). According to the employees, patients made inappropriate use of emergency departments in the belief that these provide services for every kind of health problem. Unfortunately, according to the health care workers this misperception of emergency services results in less effective patient care and a decrease in employee motivation. Conclusion: Health team members thought that inappropriate use of emergency services led to negative outcomes in the quality of care and motivation of the workers. Solutions to minimize inappropriate use of emergency departments need to be developed and put into place.