Health Policy$ense

Infographic of the Day: Nonurgent Emergency Department Visits

h/t @bgcarr09

In JAMA Internal Medicine, Renee Hsia, LDI Fellow Ari Friedman, and Matthew Niedzwiecki report that many patients triaged as “nonurgent” in the emergency department may still have urgent medical care needs. These patients sometimes arrive by ambulance, receive diagnostic tests and procedures, and may be admitted to the hospital. In an analysis of emergency department visits in the National Hospital Ambulatory Care Survey, the authors find that 5.7% of “nonurgent" ED visits resulted in admission or transfer, compared to 14.9% of "urgent" visits. The results illustrate that nonurgent does not necessarily connote inappropriate use of the emergency department.

Academic Life in Emergency Medicine, an educational organization, developed and tweeted out (@ALiEMteam) this excellent infographic that profiles "nonurgent" patients: