ED visits dropped as much as over 60% in March: study

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ED visits dropped as much as over 60% in March: study

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | August 11, 2020
Emergency Medicine

The group is continuing to observe ED visits in more states and is examining pre-hospital data such as 911 phone calls and deaths in the field to determine why people are avoiding the ED and what has happened to them as a result.

“It is definitely our concern that we would see a repeat of these patterns in areas with spiking COVID-19 cases," said Melnick. "However, the public perceptions have changed since March and April, so we plan to study more recent changes as well. The differences between admit rates pre-COVID and at the end of June are interesting, but we can only speculate as to why they may be different (i.e., public getting the message to stay home for minor issues but go to ED for higher-acuity conditions, less emergent conditions being successfully triaged by telehealth, fewer non-emergent conditions due to staying home).”

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The study is titled, Trends in Emergency Department Visits and Hospital Admissions in Health Care Systems in 5 States in the First Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the US.

The findings were published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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