An effort to connect non-emergent ER patients with a primary-care provider showed some success in increasing primary-care follow-up over the next year, a new study finds.
The study is published on the Annals of Emergency Medicine's website. In the study of 965 ER patients, conducted at Bellevue Hospital Center, New York, people working as patient navigators tried to identify patients to be transferred to an on-site primary-care clinic, with the idea that patients assigned to a primary-care physician and given care in the clinic would be more likely to make follow-up visits to the clinic. The researchers found that to be the case: After a year, a higher share (9.3% more) of the patients directed to the primary-care clinic had made follow-up visits to the clinic. There was no statistically significant decrease in ER use for this group, however.