Analysis of Emergency Room Use for Primary Care Needs

Glick, Doris F.; Thompson, karen MacDonald
January 1997
Nursing Economic$;Jan/Feb97, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p42
Academic Journal
A better understanding of the factors that determine how and why people use services can contribute to more appropriate and cost-effective models for care delivery. This study examined the use of an emergency room (ER) in a large tertiary care medical center by low income residents of public housing to identify the predisposing, enabling, and need factors and to evaluate the intensity and type of emergency services used. Patient needs in a significant number of ER visits could have been more appropriately met in a primary care setting. Evidence suggests the most common reason for such non-urgent use is the lack of a primary care provider. Many people who do not have adequate health insurance use an ER as their source of primary care. Community-based primary care centers are an appropriate means of optimizing the availability and accessibility of services that focus on the unique needs of various populations while relieving hospital ERs of inappropriate and costly demands for care. INSET: Executive Summay.


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