5 Ways Health Systems Can Reduce ED Usage

, October 29, 2013

A study finds reductions in emergency department usage can be achieved through patient education, interventions in patient financial incentives, and the adoption of population health strategies such as patient-centered medical homes.

Outside interventions can be successful in reducing emergency department usage in U.S. hospitals, a new study finds.

In the study "Non–Emergency Department Interventions to Reduce ED Utilization: A Systematic Review [PDF]," published in the October issue of Academic Emergency Medicine, researchers analyzed literature from studies conducted on the effectiveness of interventions introduced outside of the hospital that were aimed at reducing ED utilization.

"With the roll out of the Affordable Care Act and especially with new payment models that are being developed, there is a much greater focus on reducing high-cost utilizations… such as ED use and inpatient hospitalizations and on improving the efficiency of healthcare in general," says Jesse Pines, MD, study co-author.

Pines is director of the Office of Clinical Practice Innovation and a professor of emergency medicine and health policy at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. his team's research identifies five ways in which hospitals have been successful in reducing ED usage through outside interventions:


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