Israel journal of health policy research 2017 11 106(1) 60 doi 10.1186/s13584-017-0184-x
The purpose of this study was to assess ethnic differences in Emergency Department (ED) waiting times between Jewish and Arab children in a tertiary childrens’ hospital in Israel.
This was a retrospective cohort study of all children who were admitted to the pediatric ED of the largest hospital in northern Israel, between January 2011 and December 2015. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess the strength of association between ethnicity category and waiting time. The following were tested as possible confounders: triage category, age, gender, time of arrival category. The effect of nurse-patient ethnic concordance was assessed.
Full data were available in 82,883 patients, 55,497 (67.0%) Jews and 27,386 (33.0%) Arabs. Jews and Arabs had a similar median waiting time of 38 min (interquartile range [IQR] 22-63 and IQR 21-61, respectively). Ethnicity was not associated with a change in waiting time (p = 0.36). Factors that most influenced shorter waiting time were triage category 1 (change in waiting time: -25.5%; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -29.3 to -21.7), or triage category 2 (change in waiting-time: -21.8%; 95% CI: -23.7 to -20.05). Factors that most influenced longer waiting time were patient arrival during the morning shift period (change in waiting time: 5.45%; 95% CI: 4.59 to 6.31), or during the evening shift period (change in waiting time: 4.46%; 95% CI: 3.62 to 5.29). Ethnic discordance between triage nurses and patients did not yield longer waiting times.
In this large pediatric cohort, ethnic differences in ED waiting time were not found.