Journal article

Clarifying the concept of avoidable emergency department attendance

B Parkinson, R Meacock, K Checkland, M Sutton

Journal of Health Services Research and Policy | SAGE Publications | Published : 2021


Emergency department attendances are rising in several countries. Many of the policies aimed at reducing emergency department attendances are based on the assumption that a proportion of current utilization is ‘avoidable’ and therefore could be reduced. In considering how to achieve this aim, it is important to first understand the problem. In this essay, we review the literature on the concept and identification of avoidable emergency department attendances in England. We identified three areas of inconsistency surrounding avoidable emergency department attendances: the terminology, the underlying definition, and the method used to identify avoidable attendances. We offer a more nuanced def..

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Awarded by Wellcome Trust

Funding Acknowledgements

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust (208183/Z/17/Z).