Hospitals reduce ED visits by redirecting non-urgent patients

The number of emergency rooms visits and the time it takes to get treated at the ED continue to climb. So some hospitals are redirecting people with less-urgent issues to alternate healthcare providers, reports MarketWatch. By matching non-urgent patients with urgent-care centers or retail clinics, these hospitals hope to reduce unnecessary ED visits and wait times. Milwaukee-based Aurora Sinai Medical Center, for example, has reduced its annual ED visits by 23 percent by matching non-urgent patients with other providers. "There's a lot of non-urgent, non-emergent use of ERs because, let’s face it, we’re pretty quick, open 24-7, board-certified in emergency medicine, and because of [federal] law, we have to see everybody who shows up,” says Paul Coogan, the hospitals ED medical director. Article