Problem: The objective of this study was to compare the epidemiology of injuries presenting to emergency department (ED) and urgent care (UC) facilities of a single, NEISS-affiliated hospital.
Method: Patient medical records (n=36,811) were used to compare injury incidence, injury characteristics, and demographic characteristics between the ED, on-site UC, and off-site UC during 2006.
Results: ED presentations were more likely to be open wounds and motor vehicle-related compared to on-site UC presentations. ED presentations were more likely to be system wide/late effects, be made by an African American, or be paid through Medicaid compared to off-site UC presentations. On-site UC presentations were more likely to be made by an African American or be paid through Medicaid compared to off-site UC presentations.
Discussion: ED and UC injury characteristics and patient demographics differ. With no nationally-representative UC injury surveillance, current research likely underestimates injury incidence and presents skewed profiles.
Impact on industry: This article adds insight into the generalizability of ED-based injury surveillance to UC injuries.