Objective: Intervention to reduce nonurgent pediatric emergency department (PED) visits over a 12-month follow-up.
Methods: Prospective, randomized, controlled trial enrolled children seen in the PED for nonurgent concerns. Intervention subjects received a structured session/handout specific to their primary care provider (PCP), which outlined ways to obtain medical advice. Visitation to the PED and PCP were followed over 12 months.
Results: A total of 164 patients were assigned to the intervention and 168 patients to the control. At 12-month follow-up, the intervention group had a lower rate of nonurgent PED utilization compared with the control group (70 [43%] patients in the intervention compared with 91 [54%] in the control; P = .047). At 12 months, there was an increase in the rate of sick visits to PCP in the intervention group when compared with the control (P = .036).
Conclusions: Intervention designed in cooperation with pediatricians was able to decrease nonurgent PED utilization and redirect patients to their PCP for future sick visits over a 12-month period.
Keywords: emergency department use; health care utilization.
© The Author(s) 2014.