A New Innovations Exchange Learning Community
The AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange has identified reducing the use of emergency services for non-urgent conditions as a high-priority area.
For a variety of reasons, ranging from convenience to barriers in accessing primary care and other health care services, many patients seek treatment at the emergency department (ED) for non-urgent (often chronic) conditions that could be better handled in other settings. The most common diagnoses for high utilizers are behavioral health conditions (Jiang, et. al., 2014). This pervasive issue results in unnecessarily high costs of care and has significant consequences for both the patient and the health care system. Patients often receive fragmented care and inadequate management of underlying medical, behavioral, and psychosocial needs, while emergency services are overburdened and struggling with allocating limited resources.
Participants in the Emergency Services (ES) Learning Community, located in the Detroit metropolitan area, are collaborating across systems and agencies to identify individuals who use emergency services frequently and connect them to more appropriate care in outpatient settings. The work of the LC builds upon a cluster of select innovations from the Innovations Exchange (featured below) that will be adapted in this local context.
Learning Community Aims
Aim #1: Identify non-urgent/high utilizers of emergency services.
Aim #2: Improve coordination between emergency medical services, emergency departments, primary care, behavioral health, and social services.
Aim #3: Appropriately reduce non-urgent/high utilization of emergency services by exploring appropriate service delivery models to meet the target population’s needs.
To meet these aims, the AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange is working with a coalition of private and public organizations involved in the delivery of emergency medical services, behavioral and primary health care, and community support services in the Detroit metropolitan area. Participants are receiving guidance and technical support from local stakeholders, experts, and innovators to help them implement strategies to reduce the non-urgent use of emergency services.
We will periodically provide updates on this page related to the development and progress of the Learning Community. This information may include early results and promising practices, in addition to case studies, issue briefs, and videos that capture key findings and lessons learned.
Trained Paramedics Provide Ongoing Support to Frequent 911 Callers, Reducing Use of Ambulance and Emergency Department Services
Referral System Allows Responders to Connect 911 Callers to Needed Community-Based Services, Reducing Nonemergency Calls
Specially Trained Paramedics Respond to Nonemergency 911 Calls and Proactively Care for Frequent Callers, Reducing Inappropriate Use of Emergency Services
Major Health Systems Collaborate on Organizational Structures and Policies, Enhancing Access to Care and Reducing Uncompensated Care Costs for the Uninsured
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