Understanding the Characteristics of Frequent Users of Emergency Departments: What Role Do Medical Conditions Play?
Stud Health Technol Inform. 2018;253:175-179
Authors: Rauch J, Hüsers J, Babitsch B, Hübner U
Frequent users of emergency departments (ED) pose a significant challenge to hospital emergency services. Despite a wealth of studies in this field, it is hardly understood, what medical conditions lead to frequent attendance. We examine (1) what ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSC) are linked to frequent use, (2) how frequent users can be clustered into subgroups with respect to their diagnoses, acuity and admittance, and (3) whether frequent use is related to higher acuity or admission rate. We identified several ACSC that highly increase the risk for heavy ED use, extracted four major diagnose subgroups and found no significant effect neither for acuity nor admission rate. Our study indicates that especially patients in need of (nursing) care form subgroups of frequent users, which implies that quality of care services might be crucial for tackling frequent use. Hospitals are advised to regularly analyze their ED data in the EHR to better align resources.
PMID: 30147067 [PubMed - in process]