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ISRN Emergency Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 461274, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/461274
Research Article

A Profile of Emergency Departments in Slovenia

1Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, 326 Cambridge Street, Suite 410, Boston, MA 02114, USA
2Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency, Department of Emergency Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital, 178 Marlborough Street, No. 5, Boston, MA 02116, USA

Received 9 May 2012; Accepted 30 May 2012

Academic Editors: A. Banerjee, E. De Guise, and A. Eisenman

Copyright © 2012 Blanka Jaklic et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objectives. Emergency departments (EDs) are the basic unit of emergency medicine (EM), but there is often significant heterogeneity and differences in ED organization. We sought to describe and characterize EDs in Slovenia. Methods. All EDs open 24/7 to the general public were surveyed using the National ED Inventories survey instrument. Staff were asked about ED characteristics with reference to calendar year 2007. Results. Fifty-five EDs participated (81% response). All EDs treated children and adults. Eleven (20%) of the EDs were hospital based and 44 (80%) were non-hospital based. The median number of annual visits for hospital-based EDs was 21,400 (interquartile range, 19,900–34,200) and 5,000 (interquartile range, 1,100–9,300) for non-hospital-based EDs. All hospital-based EDs had triage to service, and only one was an independent department. Most respondents (76%, 95% CI 64–89%) thought their ED was at good balance or capacity. While hospital-based EDs had high availability of technological resources and ability to treat virtually all emergency types 24/7, these characteristics were less frequent in non-hospital-based EDs. Conclusions. The organization of emergency care in Slovenia is complex, with some variation in the layout, characteristics, and capabilities of its EDs. This initial study establishes a benchmark for future investigations into intra-country comparisons of different types of EDs.