Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Many Use ER for Routine Follow-Up Care After Hospital Discharge

Many Use ER for Routine Follow-Up Care After Hospital Discharge

08/29/11

MONDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Many uninsured and publicly insured trauma injury patients who are discharged from U.S. hospitals return to the emergency department for routine follow-up care that could be handled at an outpatient clinic, a new study finds.

These needs include minor issues such as dressing changes and refills of pain medications.

The researchers examined the medical records of 6,675 trauma patients admitted to the Johns Hopkins Hospital between 1997 and 2007, and found that about 13 percent of the patients returned to the emergency room within a month of discharge.

Nearly 90 percent of the patients who returned to the ER were not readmitted to the hospital, which suggests that their ER visit was unnecessary and they could have been treated for less cost in an outpatient clinic, said study leader Dr. Adil H. Haider, an assistant professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Uninsured patients and those with Medicaid or Medicare were 60 percent more likely than those with private insurance to seek follow-up care in the ER instead of an outpatient clinic or doctor's office, while patients from poor neighborhoods were 70 percent more likely to do so, the study found.

"Just providing patients access to doctors outside of the ER clearly isn't working, especially for those without insurance," Haider said in a Hopkins news release. "We need better ways to help patients discharged from the hospital receive appropriate follow-up care."

It's not clear why these patients seek far more costly care in the ER, where they have to wait longer and add to the overcrowding that affects many emergency departments, the researchers said.

The study was recently published in the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine.

More information

The American College of Emergency Physicians explains when you should go to the emergency department.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse First in Area to Perform Single-Site Hysterectomy
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >