Wrapping up the EMS news for EMTs and Paramedics this week is a look at a recent CDC report on emergency department use, or in some cases, overuse by certain segments of the population. This is important because it is statistics like this that can show us how to change the way people access care during emergencies and after normal primary care hours.

ER as Primary Care

Nurse_BP_smAccording to the report, about 20% of people go to the ER for some reason each year. For people who are uninsured and on medicaid, the ER is often the primary care resource of choice. The stats tell us some more about the patients who visited the ER during the study period, from 2009 through 2010.

Adults were more likely to be there for an injury, children, for cold and flu symptoms. Most people, about 80% in fact, were sent home with simple instructions to follow up with their primary care provider and only 16% were admitted to the hospital.

Tracking EMS Data is Essential

Are you tracking the numbers for you service and seeing any trends in your community? Every area is slightly different and I’m curious if you see the same trends as the ER does or is there a whole different patient population for EMS transport to the hospital. You know, if you aren’t tracking data in your system, you don’t have any way to seek improvement.

I believe that all providers, down to the newest guy should have a handle on the basic demographics of their patient population. Make sure you are knowledgeable about what happens in your systems.

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Follow-up on the link for this and other news items as well as all of the additional resource links in the show notes for this episode – Albuterol & Atrovent EMS Review and Episode 339.

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