“You need to go to the Emergency Department”: The Impact of Outpatient Referral on the ED

From Urgent Matters:

The ED has become the easiest entry point for most unscheduled admissions to the hospital.  While many hope that expanded outpatient provider coverage will reduce ED use, it is important to remember that the ED is an invaluable tool for primary care providers as well.  The study found that on average, referred patients tend to be sicker. However, many patients who are referred into the ED for care are ultimately discharged home, meaning that considerable volume of ED patients could potentially have been treated in outpatient settings.  Going forward, both ED and outpatient providers have to work together to find ways to coordinate care so that when a patient goes from one setting to another, their full healthcare needs are met.

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