Massachusetts Hospital Association, MACEP team up to alert hospitals of repeat ER patients

The Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians launched a pilot program with the Massachusetts Hospital Association to alert state hospitals of patients who are frequently in and out of different emergency room, which could better coordinate care for high-risk patients, according to a WBUR report.

Through the initiative, called PreManage ED, if a patient has visited the ER six or more times within six months, visited three different ERs in 90 days or posed a recent security threat, the physician treating the patient will receive a notice. "We expect 10 to 20 percent of patients will trigger an alert," Scott Weiner, MD, emergency physician at Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital and the president-elect of MACEP, told WBUR.

The alert the physician receives only includes the date, hospital and the patient's diagnosis. "You have to call or request the test results electronically," Dr. Weiner said. "But just the existence of that visit is essential information that we didn't have before."

In Washington state, where PreManage ED started, hospitals saved $30 million in the first year just from sharing patient information, according to Dr. Weiner.

"Patients often assume that we have their information, that there's some sort of a network already," Dr. Weiner said. "We need to get to a point where there is one medical record. It doesn't make any sense that I don't have access to the test results from a hospital across the street. In 2018, that should just be a reality."

The MHA is spending $2.6 million on the two-year pilot program.

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