13 Ways to Engage PCPs in Reducing Avoidable ER Utilization

Locating case managers in the ER, and ensuring that follow-up PCP appointments are scheduled and kept are two of the steps healthcare organizations are taking to engage PCPs in efforts to reduce avoidable use of the hospital ER, say respondents to a 2010 Reducing Avoidable Emergency Room Visits e-survey conducted by the Healthcare Intelligence Network. Here are some of the other strategies in use by respondents:

  • Provide feedback on ED use for member panels;

  • Determine after-hours access information and educate PCPs on urgent care center options;
  • Allow physicians to cover the absence of an employee from the first day off work, not from first day seen in medical office. EDs are a tool of convenience prior to physician appointment;
  • Provide reporting that includes names of patients, physicians visiting physicians, training and education seminars;
  • Transfer call center with the hospitalist assuming admission on unassigned patients;
  • Notify PCP within 24 hours of ED visit;
  • Work with providers to have “walk-in” or urgent care slots built into daily appointment templates;
  • Use case managers and hospitalists aggressively;
  • Work closely with a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in market to increase accessibility for Medicaid and low-income patient visits to the ER;
  • Introduce coaching module follow-up for 30 days post-discharge;
  • Develop community care plans that involve frequent flyers, PCP and ED.
  • Identify PCPs that encourage ER visits through mailed survey; and
  • Partner with urgent care to offset volume.

Source: 27 Interventions to Reduce Avoidable ER Use, November 2010


Related Resource: 27 Interventions to Reduce Avoidable ER Use details provider- and patient-focused interventions that target the high numbers of avoidable visits, high and ultra-high utilizers and the sub-populations noted for frequent ER use.

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