Only about 30 percent of patients treated in hospital emergency departments need to be there. The other 70 percent might be better off in primary care, where care could be better coordinated and costs are about one-quarter, according to The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). In recognition of this issue, RWJF has been funding programs to tackle the problem of avoidable emergency department visits.
In this podcast interview, RWJF Senior Program Officer Susan Mende discusses the work of Aligning Force for Quality grantee communities in identifying the root cause of avoidable visits and developing interventions to help primary care practices achieve their missions. Resources are available for free on the RWJF website.
Susan is optimistic that there will be significant progress in addressing this issue over the next few years.
By David E. Williams of the Health Business Group.