Journal article

Emergency department workload increase: dependence on primary care?

Kim E Tranquada, Kurt R Denninghoff, Melanie E King, Stephen M Davis, Peter Rosen

J Emerg Med | Published : 2010


BACKGROUND: Increasing demand for emergency care and crowded emergency departments (EDs) lead some planners to conclude that inconvenient primary care scheduling increases the number of "unnecessary" ED visits. The reasons that the planners argue for more primary care are: to increase funding for primary care; the unfounded notion that it is less expensive to see a primary care physician (PCP) than an Emergency Physician; and the impractical goal that the ED should be used only by intellectually interesting life- or limb-threatened patients or "true emergencies." OBJECTIVE: To explore the rates of patient-reported access to primary care in ambulatory presentations to a rural tertiary care ED..

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