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ED Visits Up 23% in 10 Years

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 10, 2010


  • Patients arrived at the ED by ambulance 15.5% of the time, but for patients age 75 years or older, 45% arrived by ambulance.
  • For nearly two-thirds of the visits, patients arrived during non-business hours, or between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. Monday through Friday and on weekends.
  • Patients living in nursing homes who visited the ED at four times the rate of those living in private residences.  Nursing home residents accounted for about 2.3 million visits.
  • Homeless people had a visit rate almost twice as high as those living in private residences, and accounted for 542,000 visits.
  • CT scans were ordered or provided at 13.4% of visits, and half of those were of the head. MRI was ordered or provided less than 1% of visits. 
  • The leading tests ordered or provided during an ED visit were complete blood counts, 35.4%; x-rays, 33.8%; and urinalyses, 22.5%.


    See Also:
    Wait Times in Emergency Departments Surge


    Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

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