Data Transparency Measure:
Emergency Department Utilization
Page under construction, please excuse our mess
What is Emergency Department Utilization? Why measure it?
Emergency department utilization, or "ED Utilization," refers to how often a person/population/patient uses the emergency department for any reason.
While an emergency department visit typically costs more than a visit with a primary care physician, measuring ED utilization is not just about costs. It's also about access, care coordination, and communication between the clinic and patient.
Though there are numerous reasons why a patient visits the emergency department, in some cases these visits are avoidable and the patient could have been treated by his or her primary care team. By measuring emergency department utilization, clinics can begin to take a critical look at other factors (clinic access, communication to patients about after-hours care, etc.) and assess why their patients may be visiting the emergency room instead of their medical home.
UDS Definition 2017
CLICK HERE to see the following definition and documentation from OHA regarding ED Utilization.
What action can we take as a clinic to improve this measure?
Here are a few examples of changes organizations have made to improve this measure:
A Guide for Primary Care: Communicating to patients both before and after they visit the ED about after-hours care, office hours, and what to do if they have an emergency can prevent unnecessary visits to the emergency room.
- Hotspotting Data Toolkit: Some organizations have created health care teams to better coordinate the care of "super-utilizers" - those who visit the emergency department for care much more often than the average.
- Health Integration Project: Emergeny Room Diversion Project that explores some key strategies for reducing emergency department utilization
- EDIE/PreManage: Web-based tools that provide real time information to primary care clinics about their patients' emergency department utilization
- Opportunities, Solutions and Drivers for Change: A look at the financial impact of emergency department overuse and some potential strategies for addressing it
- Community Care Coordination Pathways: A quick start guide to developing a plan for care coordination and connecting with patients who are at risk of high utilization
- Connecting with your CCO: Many Coordinated Care Organizations are starting to send data regarding emergency department utilization to clinics. Contact your organization's CCO to see what data is available.
Helpful materials for taking action:
For additional information on this measure, refer to the links below:
Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) Incentive Measure Definition (Outpatient and ED Utilization)
- Hospital Transformation Performance Program - PCP Notification in EDIE
- Core Performance Measure Definition (Avoidable ED Visits)
Resources: Emergency Department Utilization
January 31, 20191.78 MB
pdf Learning & Sharing Session: Part 2: Local Efforts to Reduce Emergency Department Utilization - Mar. 2017January 31, 20193.18 MB
pdf Learning & Sharing Session: Local and National Efforts to Reduce Emergency Department Utilization - Dec. 2016January 31, 20191.97 MB
January 31, 2019143 KB
January 31, 2019732 KB
January 31, 2019492 KB
January 31, 20191018 KB