Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tackling 'frequent flyers' won't solve the rising emergency hospital admissions problem

Date:
September 18, 2012
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Patients who are regularly admitted to hospital as emergencies (known as "frequent flyers") make up a large proportion of admissions, but focusing just on them won't solve the problem of rising admissions, say experts.

Patients who are regularly admitted to hospital as emergencies (known as 'frequent flyers') make up a large proportion of admissions, but focusing just on them won't solve the problem of rising admissions, say experts on bmj.com today.

Martin Roland and Gary Abel from the Cambridge Centre for Health Services Research argue that this is one of several misconceptions about emergency admissions that must be tackled if we are to reduce the number of people being admitted as emergencies. Around the world, the pressure to reduce healthcare costs is huge. Emergency hospital admissions are an expensive aspect of care and rates have been rising for several years, particularly among the elderly and those with several conditions (co-morbidities).

In the UK, many initiatives have been set up to reduce emergency admissions, mainly in primary care and with a focus on high risk patients who are thought to use a disproportionate share of resources.

But Roland and Abel argue that there are "some fundamental flaws" in this approach. Exclusively focusing on high risk patients won't solve the problem, they say, as data show that most admissions come from low and medium risk groups. Instead they suggest interventions may need to be targeted on larger population groups, such as elderly patients.

They also challenge the widespread view that improving primary care could prevent many emergency admissions and suggest that some of the rise in admissions may be due to the introduction of four hour waiting targets in A&E. They say that primary and secondary care doctors need to work together to achieve a common set of goals.

They also point to the problem of "supply induced demand" for services which could explain the apparent increase in admissions found in some studies of intensive case management (e.g. community matrons).

Apart from a few exceptions, evaluations of interventions to reduce emergency admissions have been disappointing. Evaluations need to be evidence based, they need to allow for admission rates for individual patients falling of their own accord (a phenomenon known as regression to the mean) and to take account of variation due to chance. The authors suggest some guidelines for those needing to focus on this important and expensive aspect of healthcare.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Roland, G. Abel. Reducing emergency admissions: are we on the right track? BMJ, 2012; 345 (sep18 1): e6017 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.e6017

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Tackling 'frequent flyers' won't solve the rising emergency hospital admissions problem." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120918185625.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2012, September 18). Tackling 'frequent flyers' won't solve the rising emergency hospital admissions problem. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120918185625.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Tackling 'frequent flyers' won't solve the rising emergency hospital admissions problem." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120918185625.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins