Study: Patient Anxiety Drives Unnecessary Ambulance Calls

Consumer education may help reduce the number of emergency ambulance calls for problems that could be safely managed in another setting, according to a study in Emergency Medicine Journal.

Researchers conducted interviews with patients and "carers" who had called an ambulance for a primary care-appropriate problem to determine the causes of their decisions. A thematic analysis of interviews revealed a superordinate theme of patient and carer anxiety in urgent-care decision-making and subthemes of the following:

•    Perceptions of ambulance-based urgent care.
•    Contrasting perceptions of community-based urgent care.
•    Influence of previous urgent care experiences in decision-making.
•    Interpersonal factors in lay assessment and management of medical risk and subsequent decision-making.

The authors suggested that educational intervention and communication between ambulance responders and primary care physicians may help reduce the amount of unnecessary telephone calls for ambulances.

More Articles on ED Utilization:

Study: ED Discharge Diagnoses Fail to Identify "Non-Emergency" Visits
Study: 3 Characteristics of High-Frequency ED Users

2 Recent Examples of Reducing ED Visits by Frequent Users

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