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Urgent Care Centers, Not Necessarily Cost-Effective?

What a surprise! A new study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC) for the National Institute for Health Care Reform on urgent care centers (UCCs) indicates the evidence on cost-effectiveness is not yet in. While the same study noted that UCCs are more common near large cities around the United States and suggests the growth of UCCs has largely been driven by the patient demand for quick, convenient access to care, something the current system is lacking, whether they are cost-effective is another story. 

The Potential Pitfalls of Emergency Department Information Systems

A recent report by 15 members of an American College of Emergency Physicians panel discusses the pros and cons of emergency department infomation systems (EDIS). EDISs are an important factor for ED efficiency and benefit the ED in several ways. However, as discussed in the report, these systems have several pitfalls that can potentially cause harm to patients in the ED.

Answer to cutting ED wait times – telemedicine? UCSD recently launched a pilot study exploring this idea.

A pilot study was recently launched at UC San Diego Health System to see if telemedicine could help reduce wait times in the emergency room. This is the first of its kind in California. Members of the department of emergency medicine at UC San Diego think that having physicians available by telecommunication in addition to the physicians physically present in the ED can help reduce wait times.  

What Are the Innovations EMS Needs to Thrive with Health Reform?

Click here to view our 90-minute webinar presentation on how to EMS can thrive in the age of health reform.

Health Reform: EMS, ED & Trauma Center Impact - Where Do We Go From Here?

Click here to view our 95 minute webinar on the impact of health reform on EMS, EDs and trauma centers. 

ED Visits Drop by 2 Percent

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS) released it's survey results for ED visits in 2007 in August 2010. ED visits have been increasing since 2005, but took a dip in 2007 to 116.8 million. Compared to 2006, which experienced 119.2 million visits, that was a drop of two percent.

Universal Coverage and ED Visits

We are now learning that universal coverage does not necessarily mean reduced ED visits. The original postulate was that if all were insured, fewer people would need to go to an ED for primary care. They would have a traditional "medical home" environment and willing physician practitioners due to the patient's "insured" status. Apparently, nothing could be further from the truth.