Patterns of Healthcare Utilization: Women Using the Emergency Department for Non-urgent Illnesses
This study examined patterns of healthcare utilization of women utilizing the Emergency Department (ED) Fast Track at University Hospital (UH), Newark, NJ. The Fast Track cares for 1,200 patients monthly triaged as non-acute/non-urgent by the staff of the ED. The majority of these patients are women. UH is the state designated trauma center located in Newark, NJ and the ED serves as a primary care and social work provider for many inner city poor.
This qualitative study was undertaken to examine the motivation of inner city women in choosing to seek care in the ED. Seventy-five women, of various ages and cultures, participated in the study. The interview protocol focused on demographic factors, health beliefs, social networks, compliance with recommended screening for breast and cervical cancer, insurance coverage, subjective evaluation of the need for health care, a self-rating of health status, and the decision-making process which led to seeking help in the ED.
Data analysis focused on predictors of ED use and reasons for utilizing the ED as a Primary Care provider. Results show that women continue to utilize the ED to deal with non-urgent health needs because of convenience and ability to access multiple services at a single site. This pattern continues despite the creation of neighborhood primary care services. These results support the need of inner city women to have access to comprehensive social services, and medical and psychological healthcare in a single drop-in site.
Learning Objectives: At the completion of this sessions, participants will: 1) Identify five (5) factors which motivate inner city women to seek care for non-urgent illnesses in the Emergency Department; 2) Understand the patterns of healthcare utilization among women in an urban, multicultural population; 3) Discuss the role of a public hospital in meeting primary care and social work needs of an indigent population
Keywords: Emergency Department/Room, Health Care Utilization
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Emergency Services, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), University Hospital
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA