Last drinks: a study of rural emergency department data collection to identify and target community alcohol-related violence
journal contributionposted on 2015-06-01, 00:00 authored by Peter MillerPeter Miller, Nicolas Droste, Tim BakerTim Baker, C Gervis
OBJECTIVE: The present study summarises the methodology and findings of a pilot project designed to measure the sources and locations of alcohol-related harm by implementing anonymised 'last drinks' questions in the ED of a rural community. METHODS: 'Last drinks' questions were added to computerised triage systems at South West Healthcare ED in rural Warrnambool, Victoria, from 1 November 2013 to 3 July 2014. For all injury presentations aged 15 years or older, attendees were asked whether alcohol was consumed in the 12 h prior to injury, how many standard drinks were consumed, where they purchased most of the alcohol and where they consumed the last alcoholic drink. RESULTS: From 3692 injury attendances, 10.8% (n = 399) reported consuming alcohol in the 12 h prior to injury. 'Last drinks' data collection was 100% complete for participants who reported alcohol use prior to injury. Approximately two-thirds (60.2%) of all alcohol-related presentations had purchased their alcohol at packaged liquor outlets. During high-alcohol hours, alcohol-related injuries accounted for 36.1% (n = 101) of all ED injury presentations, and in total 41.7% of alcohol-related attendances during these hours reported consuming last drinks at identifiable hotels, bars, nightclubs or restaurants, or identifiable public areas/events. CONCLUSIONS: This pilot demonstrates the feasibility and reliability of implementing sustainable 'last drinks' data collection methods in the ED, and the ability to effectively map the source of alcohol-related ED attendances in a rural community.