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Luna Xu, Aimee Chang, Kellie Gergoudis, Anita Gupta; Does a patient’s time of presentation correlate with the severity of diagnosis? - The experience of the Ophthalmology Urgent Care center at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):1386.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The study aims to explore whether there is an association between the severity of an ophthalmologic diagnosis and the time at which a patient presents to an ophthalmology urgent care center.
The medical records of all patients who presented to the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary Ophthalmology Urgent Care Center in July 2014 were reviewed. Data recorded included the time of presentation, gender, age, and principle diagnosis. The presenting time were separated into four categories: Period 1: weekday 7am to 3pm, Period 2: 3pm to 11pm, and Period 3: 11pm to 7am next day, and Period 4: weekends/holidays. The principle diagnosis were categorized into four severity levels. Level 1: management of chronic symptoms; Level 2: acute symptoms, not vision threatening; Level 3: acute symptoms, potentially vision threatening; level 4: emergency situations, acute intervention required (Table 1).
A total of 708 patients presented to ophthalmology urgent care in July 2014, of which 373 (52.7%) were women. The average age of patients were 44 years old in both genders. There were 129, 281, 31, and 267 patients who presented in time Periods 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. In terms of severity of diagnosis, there were 63, 323, 260, and 43 patients in diagnosis severity Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4. In time Period 1, the average severity level was 2.4. In Period 2, it was 2.5. In Period 3 and 4, they were 2.4 and 2.3, respectively. The majority of patients (548 patients, 77.4%) presented during after work hours (Period 2) and weekends (Period 4). There is no significant correlation between the time at which a patient presents and the severity of one’s diagnosis (Chi Square, Χ2 = 0. 33). In addition, male patients tend to present with more severe diagnosis (Χ2 = 0. 02) and during weekdays (Χ2 = 0. 02) respectively.
The time at which a patient presents to an ophthalmology urgent care does not significantly correlate with the severity of his/her diagnosis. On the other hand, the gender of the patient may be more closely related to the presenting time and diagnosis severity.
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