Although large-scale events such as the September 11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina have heightened awareness and concerns about the ability of our emergency system to handle large-scale events, it is clear that emergency rooms in the country are barely able—and in many cases unable—to handle current, every day demand for their services.
Strategies for Reducing Emergency Department Overuse By Debra Wood, RN, contributor May 19, - Access to healthcare through the emergency department presents an avenue for people not necessarily suffering from the life- and limb-threatening conditions such departments are designed to address.
Overuse leads to needless expense, crowding and reductions in access to those in true need.
Several entities have come up with suggestions to reduce inappropriate ED visits. Wah suggested care integration might positively affect ED usage. He said other industries have used technology to pull data from various sources in enterprise resource planning systems, but healthcare has been slow to implement those integrated systems.
He expects an enterprise system will contribute to integrated care, analytics and other benefits.
CSC has deployed such systems for other industries. Patients also can become more involved with their health through telemedicine consults. Wah said those services may replace some emergency department visits. Robin Shannon, RN, said she has found face-to-face encounters more successful than following up with a patient through phone or email after discharge.
For patients without a primary care provider, Shannon said, a proactive transition process is critical.
The ED should identify physicians accepting new patients and connect the patent and provider prior to discharge from the ED.
She also recommended case managers talk to patients about the importance of ongoing care and alternate care settings that may be able to provide more effective treatment for their condition.
For patients with an established relationship with a primary care provider, better communication between the hospital and the primary care physician can result in fewer return visits to the ED, Shannon said.
An emergency room ER diversion project at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, Ore. The program employs a nonclinical community health worker who talks with patients and helps them navigate the healthcare system.
Many of the frequent ED users had a history of emotional, physical or sexual trauma, and half had untreated behavioral health needs, according to the Oregon Health Authority.
A May study from the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, presented at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine annual meeting last week, found that 77 percent of patients who sought care in the ED at least 10 times per year had a substance-abuse addiction.
The results were presented at the annual spring meeting of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.
Borde and her team identified patients who visited the UF Health ED more than eight times in the prior year and asked them to visit a multidisciplinary clinic to help identify factors that promote high ED utilization.
Preliminary findings demonstrated a 40 percent reduction in ED visits, comparing six months before with six months after the first clinic appointment. As evidence mounts about what works in reducing overutilization of the emergency department, hospitals will likely try similar programs.
However, Wah cautioned that he does not yet see clear evidence of which methods work best to reduce inappropriate ED visits.Building a Healthier Tomorrow The Pender County Health Department is dedicated to the purpose of disease prevention and health promotion for all Pender County residents.
The Emergency Department at UCSF Medical Center provides care to patients with urgent medical conditions ranging from complex problems such as heart attacks and strokes to simple but pressing conditions such as cuts and broken bones. Care is provided 24 hours a .
An emergency department (ED), also known as an accident & emergency department (A&E), emergency room (ER), emergency ward (EW) or casualty department, is a medical treatment facility specializing in emergency medicine, the acute care of patients who present without prior appointment; either by their own means or by that of an ambulance.
Acknowledgments IAFF D EPARTMENT OF E MERGENCY M EDICAL S ERVICES Lori Moore, MPH, EMT-P, Director The IAFF would like to acknowledge the Department of Emergency Medical Services staff, specifically Jonathan Moore and Sandy Miller, for.
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Downloads – Download all files, course catalog and forms for the Virginia EMS Symposium.. Registration – Registration for the Virginia EMS Symposium is open until Friday, October 5, The Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS), located within the Wyoming Department of Health’s Public Health Division, provides oversight to a variety of programs.