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Equality of care between First Nations and non-First
Nations patients in Saskatoon emergency

Sask-RB-First Nations Care Equality

Saskatchewan (ED)

Objective: Studies show that First Nations patients have worse health outcomes than non-First Nations patients, raising concerns that treatment within the healthcare system, including emergency care, is inequitable. 

Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review of Status First Nations and non-First Nations patients presenting to two emergency departments in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with abdominal pain and a Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale score of 3. From 190 charts (95 Status First Nations and 95 non-First Nations), data extracted included time to doctor, time to analgesia, length of stay, specialist consult, bloodwork, imaging, physical exam and history, and disposition. Univariate comparisons and multiple regression modelling were performed to compare care outcomes between patient groups. Equivalence testing comparing time intervals was also undertaken. 

Results: No statistically significant differences in presentation characteristics were observed, although Status First Nations subjects showed a greater tendency towards weekend presentation and younger age. Care parameters were similar, although a marginally significant difference was observed in Status First Nations versus non-First Nations subjects for imaging (46% versus 60%, p= 0.06), which resolved on adjustment for age and weekend presentation. Time to physician was found to be similar among First Nations patients on equivalence testing within a 15-minute margin. 

Conclusion: In this study, First Nations patients presenting with abdominal pain did not receive delayed care. There were no detectable differences in the time-related care parameters/ variables that were provided relative to non-First Nations patients. Meaningful and important qualitative factors need to be examined in the future.

Authors: Rachit Batta, Robert Carey, Martin Ashley Sasbrink-Harkema, Taofiq Olusegun Oyedokun, Hyun J. Lim, James Stempien

Rachit Batta -

Preliminary data gathering/ baseline

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