Reducing Non-Urgent Emergency Services

Reducing Non-Urgent Emergency Services Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange is expanding efforts to scale up and spread innovations by sponsoring three Learning Communities that aim to improve the delivery of care. Participants in each Learning Community will work together over the next year in an interactive group setting, leveraging Innovations Exchange content to address a defined health care challenge by adopting elements of specific innovations or innovation “clusters.”

The Innovations Exchange has identified reducing the use of emergency services for non-urgent conditions as a high-priority area. This month’s issue of the Innovations Exchange focuses on the Emergency Services (ES) Learning Community.

For a variety of reasons, ranging from convenience to barriers in accessing primary care and other health care services, many patients seek treatment at the emergency department (ED) for non-urgent (often chronic) conditions that could be better handled in other settings. This pervasive issue results in unnecessarily high costs of care and has significant consequences for both the patient and the health care system. Patients often receive fragmented care and inadequate management of underlying medical, behavioral, and psychosocial needs, while emergency services are overburdened and struggling with allocating limited resources.

The ES Learning Community membership represents a coalition of private and public organizations involved in the delivery of emergency medical services, behavioral and primary health care, and community support services in the Detroit metropolitan area. Participants are collaborating across systems and agencies to identify individuals who use emergency services frequently and connect them to more appropriate care in outpatient settings.

Please visit the ES Learning Community page for more information.

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