Informing patients on how to access PCP decreased non-urgent ED visits

  • July 23, 2014

Informing patients how to access care from their primary care physician decreased pediatric ED visits for non-urgent care, according to study findings in Clinical Pediatrics.

Jesse J. Sturm, MD, MPH, of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in West Hartford, Conn., and colleagues conducted a prospective, randomized, controlled study of 332 children admitted to the pediatric ED for non-urgent concerns. Children were aged 3 months to 16 years. Study participants in the intervention group (n=164) received a structured session and handout that outlined office hours and location, scope of practice and preferred steps patients should take to address medical concerns. Study participants in the control group (n=168) received standard care and routine discharge instructions from the pediatric ED nurse. Visitation to the pediatric ED and primary care physician (PCP) were followed over 12 months.

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