The purpose of ED Connections is to link vulnerable patients who repeatedly use the emergency department (ED) for medical care with community services that can help better address their health care needs. Once enrolled in the program, patients work with caseworkers to find out about community providers, insurance coverage options, wellness programs and other resources in the Lincoln, Neb. region.

The program is designed to help these uninsured patients overcome challenges to receiving proper health care such as language barriers and even lack of transportation. ED Connections is a cooperative effort between BryanLGH and nearby Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center.

While the program has helped improve patient flow and reduce crowding in the ED, hospital officials say the true goal of ED Connections is to help uninsured patients with chronic medical conditions and mental health problems learn to manage their own care while finding a medical home beyond the ED.