Increasing Follow Up With Primary Care Providers After Emergency Department Visits in Older Adults

Link to article at PubMed

J Gerontol Nurs. 2024 Mar;50(3):33-39. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20240208-02. Epub 2024 Mar 1.


PURPOSE: To increase follow up with the primary care team via telephone outreach within 3 days of emergency department (ED) discharge to schedule a follow-up visit within 14 days. Secondary aims included: identifying high utilizers of the ED (defined as more than three ED visits within 6 months), reinforcing discharge instructions from the ED via nursing education on telephone follow ups, and identifying the reasons patients used the ED.

METHOD: Baseline data were gathered retrospectively by reviewing charts of patients discharged from the ED. Charts were reviewed from a biweekly automated report, and RNs initiated follow-up phone calls to patients discharged from the ED, offering appointments and providing pertinent nursing education.

RESULTS: Primary care follow ups after ED discharges increased from 38% to 71% over 10 months with the new nurse-led workflow. Patients to whom the RN outreached to were more likely to attend their follow-up appointments. However, a 14-day follow-up appointment with the primary care provider (PCP) showed no significant difference in ED revisits or hospital admissions.

CONCLUSION: Follow up after ED discharge led to increased coordination of care. Nurses provided education about chronic conditions and reiterated discharge instructions that might have been unclear to patients in the ED. Further studies are needed to analyze the effect of follow up with the PCP on ED utilization and hospital admissions. [Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 50(3), 33-39.].

PMID:38417074 | DOI:10.3928/00989134-20240208-02

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