Background: The objective of this multi-center study was to examine the follow-up trends after emergency department (ED) discharge in a large and socioeconomically diverse patient population.
Methods: We performed a 3-year retrospective analysis of adult patients with acutely symptomatic hernias who were discharged from the EDs of five geographically diverse hospitals.
Results: Of 674 patients, 288 (43%) were evaluated in the clinic after discharge from the ED and 253 (37%) underwent repair. Follow-up was highest among those with insurance. A total of 119 patients (18%) returned to the ED for hernia-related complaints, of which 25 (21%) underwent urgent intervention.
Conclusion: The plan of care for patients with acutely symptomatic hernias discharged from the ED depends on outpatient follow-up, but more than 50% of patients are lost to follow-up, and nearly 1 in 5 return to the ED. The uninsured are at particularly high risk.
Keywords: Acute; Emergency department; Follow-up; Insurance status; Surgery; Symptomatic hernia.
Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.