Co-located GP clinics can ease the load in ERs

Co-located GP clinics can ease the load in ERs

(Medical Xpress)—The addition of a GP clinic at hospitals should reduce waiting times in emergency departments, according to new research.

Researchers from Monash University's Centre for investigated waiting times in hospital emergency departments, comparing those where there are a number of emergency departments in a region with those where hospitals provide co-located general practice (GP) clinics.

Co-located GP clinics are special-purpose services located within a public hospital, near or adjacent to its . They provide acute, episodic primary care services such as medical consultation, fracture management, management of minor injury and trauma and minor procedures on a walk-in basis.

Lead researcher Dr Anurag Sharma from the Centre for Health Economics said the study found diverting non-urgent patients to co-located GP clinics was a more effective way to reduce emergency department overcrowding.

"It was believed that by providing more emergency departments in a region there would be more choice for patients, thereby reducing and in emergency departments," Dr Sharma said.

"However, our study found that more choice of emergency departments actually increased the waiting time for emergency category 2 patients, who are suffering from a or very and need urgent attention, as it generated more demand by non-urgent patients."

The study found that co-located GP clinics reduced the waiting time for patients in the emergency department by 19 per cent.

Dr Sharma said diverting non-urgent patients to alternative care meant there were more resources for treating category 2 patients.

"The degree to which alternative models of care reduced emergency department waiting time was previously unknown and this study helps fill this gap," Dr Sharma said.

"Co-located GP clinics provide timely, safe and accessible services for patients seeking primary medical care outside business hours and are a good alternative for patients who don't need urgent attention," Dr Sharma said.

The Department of Human Services has estimated that GPs could treat about 37 per cent of all those attending metropolitan emergency departments in Victoria.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Keeping that weight loss resolution

4 hours ago

(HealthDay)—If you're one of the many Americans who plan to lose weight next year, there are a number of things you can do to improve your chances of success, an expert says.

A case for treating both mind and body

12 hours ago

New research from Rutgers University lends more support to the idea that integrating treatment of mind and body could lead to better - and cheaper - medical care.

Pregnant woman taken off life support in Ireland

Dec 26, 2014

A brain-dead pregnant woman was taken off life support Friday after a court ruled that her 18-week-old fetus was doomed to die—a case that exposed fear and confusion among doctors over how to apply Ireland's ...

'Tis the season to overeat

Dec 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Overeating is common during the holidays, but there are strategies that can help you eat in moderation, an expert says.

Don't let burns mar your holidays

Dec 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—The risk of burns from fires and cooking accidents increases during the holidays, so you need to be extra cautious, an expert says.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.