An Emergency Medicine-Primary Care Partnership to Improve Rural Population Health: Expanding the Role of Emergency Medicine

Ann Emerg Med. 2017 Nov;70(5):640-647. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2017.06.025. Epub 2017 Aug 9.


The health of rural America is failing and our traditional approaches have proved ineffective at improving health in rural communities. Rural populations are now a health disparity population, facing higher mortality rates for the 5 leading causes of death compared with their urban counterparts. We must generate novel, rural-specific approaches to solve this challenge-and there is a clear role for the field of emergency medicine. Building on emergency departments' (EDs') expanding role in health care delivery and emergency medicine's increasing involvement in population health, we propose a new health care delivery model for rural population health based on partnership between emergency medicine and primary care that embraces the important role that EDs play in rural areas.

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Emergency Medicine / economics
  • Emergency Medicine / methods*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / standards
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / organization & administration
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Humans
  • Mortality / trends
  • Partnership Practice / organization & administration*
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Rural Health Services / economics
  • Rural Health Services / standards
  • Rural Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Rural Population
  • United States
  • Urban Health Services