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Improved access to primary care might not deter frequent emergency department use without improved social services, lead author and RWJF Clinical Scholar Kelly Doran says. Read more
Hospitals administrators and policy-makers are interested in the characteristics of those frequenting emergency departments (ED) for care.
This cross-sectional analysis uses fiscal year 2010 data from the national VHA database. All veterans who used VHA services in fiscal year 2010 were included. Patients were divided into six ED use frequency categories: 0, 1, 2 to 4, 5 to 10, 11 to 25, and greater than 25 ED visits per year. The Gelberg-Andersen Behavioral Model for Vulnerable Populations was used as a conceptual framework for identifying and classifying factors potentially associated with ED use.
This study uses administrative data rather than self-reported data, providing an opportunity to understand use patterns within a health system Overall, this study shows that frequent VHA ED users are similar to other hospitals’ frequent ED user.