Subgroups and Risk Among Frequent ED Users – Jun 27, 2018

Jessica Moe‘s study “Identifying subgroups and risk among frequent emergency department users” was recently funded by the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation.

Around 4.5-8% of  ED patients are frequent visitors, accounting for 21-30% of visits. The related health care costs are disproportionately high among this group. Little is known about ED visit patterns and health outcomes among specific subgroups of frequent users, such as the elderly or individuals with substance misuse behaviours, chronic illness or mental health concerns. This research study aims to identify subgroups among frequent ED users whose care needs can safely and more efficiently be met in non-ED settings. Its findings will inform pilot testing of electronic flagging systems and new evidence-based interventions to see if costs can be saved while still meeting the care needs of patients.

“Frequent ED users are known to be a heterogeneous patient group, but little is known about health conditions, ED visits, service use patterns and health outcomes for specific frequent user subgroups,” Dr. Moe notes. “By understanding these complex and high resource utilizing patients, we will be able to better meet their needs in non-ED settings, where possible.”