20% of ED Patients Not Admitted to Hospital Were Referred by Physician

Roughly twenty percent of patients aged 18 to 64 who visited the emergency room in the past 12 months but were not admitted went to the ER on the advice of their health provider, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (pdf).

The report, "Emergency Room Use Among Adults Aged 18-64: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January-June 2011," showed patients' reasons for visiting the ER. Respondents whose "health provider said to go" fell under the category "seriousness of medical problem" as their reason for going to the ER. The other main category was "lack of access to other providers." Here are some data points on the reasons for visiting the ER by patients who were not admitted to the hospital. Respondents could select more than one answer.

Seriousness of medical problem — 66 percent

•    Only hospital could help — 54.5 percent
•    Problem too serious for doctor's office — 42.5 percent
•    Health provider said to go — 20.1 percent
•    Arrived by ambulance — 8.9 percent

Lack of access to other providers — 79.7 percent
•    Doctor's office not open — 48 percent
•    No other place to go — 46.3 percent
•    Emergency room is closest provider — 45.8 percent
•    Most care is at emergency room — 17.7 percent

More Articles on ED Utilization:

CDC: Nearly 80% of Adults Visited ER Due to Lack of Access to Other Providers
CDC: Publicly Insured Young Adults Visit ER More Than Uninsured

Study: Substance Abuse Associated With Frequent ED Visits

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