Reducing Avoidable Emergency Department Use

Compendium of 15 tactics to expand patient access and coordinate complex care

Learn about current emergency department utilization trends, understand the business case to rightsize emergency department use, and get a roadmap of successful ED avoidance strategies.

Reducing Avoidable Emergency Department Use

Non-emergent and primary care-treatable ED visits make up a significant portion of avoidable ED volumes. Many of these patients lack access to alternative care or assume the ED is the only place that can effectively meet their care needs.

Further, a small percentage of complex patients make up a significant proportion of ED use. These patients tend to have a range of medical and psychosocial needs and rely on many health care resources, including the ED.

To address the cost and quality implications of avoidable ED utilization, population health managers deploy a range of tactics aimed at increasing patient access to care, educating patients about appropriate use of health services, and developing targeted programs for frequent users. This research report compiles 15 tactics to meet these objectives and reduce avoidable ED utilization.

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