This study investigates the characteristics of frequent users of accident and emergency departments (AEDs) and recommends alternative medical services for such patients. Prominent demographic and clinical risk factors for individuals accessing seven AEDs located in the metropolitan area of Genoa, Italy are identified and analysed. A truncated count data model is implemented to establish the determinants of access, while a multinomial logistic regression is used to highlight potential differences among different user categories. According to previous studies, empirical findings suggest that despite the relevance of demographic drivers, vulnerability conditions (e.g. abuse of alcohol and drugs, chronic conditions, and psychological distress) are the main reasons behind frequent AED use; the analysis seems to confirm an association between AED frequent use and lower level of urgency. Since frequent and highly frequent users are found responsible for disproportionate resource absorption with respect to total amount of AED costs (they represent roughly 10% of the total number of patients, but contribute to more than 19% of the total annual AED cost), policies aiming to reduce frequent use of AEDs could bring significant savings in economic resources. Thus, efficient actions could be oriented toward extending primary care services outside AED and toward instituting local aid services specifically addressed to people under the influence of substances or in conditions of mental distress.
|Titolo:||Targeting frequent users of emergency departments: Prominent risk factors and policy implications|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 - Articolo su rivista|