Patients in primary care networks had fewer visits to ED, shorter stays

March 12, 2018, Canadian Medical Association Journal

Patients receiving care from physicians in primary care networks were less likely to visit emergency departments, according to a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

The study looked at data on all adults who visited 30 primary care networks in Alberta, Canada, between 2008 and 2009. There were more than 1.5 million who received community care from a physician in a primary care (1709 physicians and 30 primary care networks) compared with 1.1 million in conventional care.

Patients in primary care networks were slightly older (46 v. 44 years old), had more chronic conditions and saw their doctors more frequently than those in conventional care.

Patients in a primary care network had 169 fewer visits to emergency departments for any cause and 86 fewer days in hospital because of shorter stays per 1000 patient-years.

"Our analysis suggests that a province-wide program to promote team-based primary care is a feasible and effective way to reduce use of emergency departments," writes Dr. Finlay McAlister, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, with coauthors.

Primary care networks were established in Alberta in 2005 to increase access to primary care and the Patient Medical Home care model focusing on prevention and .

The study shows findings similar to one from Utah, although a similar model in Ontario that includes family health teams and payment incentives did not show the same effect.

Explore further: 24-hour primary care clinics would improve continuity of care

More information: Finlay A. McAlister et al. The effect of provider affiliation with a primary care network on emergency department visits and hospital admissions, Canadian Medical Association Journal (2018). DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.170385

Related Stories

24-hour primary care clinics would improve continuity of care

January 22, 2018
(HealthDay)—A 24-hour primary care clinic with multiple doctors offering round-the-clock care would actualize better and more sustainable care, according to a report published by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Patients in team-based practices less likely to visit ED after hospital discharge

April 24, 2017
Older patients enrolled in team-based primary care practices in Quebec had similar rates of hospital readmission, and lower rates of emergency department visits and death after hospital discharge, compared with those in traditional ...

ERs can improve population health in rural areas

August 10, 2017
Emergency physicians in Michigan propose a new health care delivery model for rural populations that depends on a partnership between emergency medicine and primary care and seeks to reverse the trend of failing health in ...

Physician incentive program to improve care for complex patients did not result in improvements

August 15, 2016
Incentive payments to primary care physicians for the provision of care for patients with complex health conditions did not improve primary care or decrease hospitalizations in British Columbia, found a study in CMAJ (Canadian ...

One in 4 patients who visited emergency department for chest pain did not receive follow-up care

February 23, 2015
Patients with multiple health issues and who are at higher risk of adverse events are less likely to receive follow-up care from a physician after visiting an emergency department for chest pain, reports a study published ...

Retail medical sites expanding to provide primary care

April 18, 2017
(HealthDay)—Pharmacy chains are continuing to develop primary care venues within their stores, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

Recommended for you

Accurate measurements of sodium intake confirm relationship with mortality

June 21, 2018
Eating foods high in salt is known to contribute to high blood pressure, but does that linear relationship extend to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death? Recent cohort studies have contested that relationship, ...

Fans of yoga therapy have yet to win over doctors

June 21, 2018
Yoga practitioners often tout the unique health benefits of the ancient discipline—from relieving stress and pain to improving vascular health—but most doctors remain sceptical in the absence of hard proof.

Fruit and vegetables linked to changes in skin colour, new research finds

June 21, 2018
Skin colour in young Caucasian men is strongly linked to high levels of fruit and vegetable consumption, new research by Curtin University has found.

What a pain: The iPad neck plagues women more

June 20, 2018
Is your iPad being a literal pain in the neck?

Medicaid work requirements and health savings accounts may impact people's coverage

June 20, 2018
Current experimental approaches in Medicaid programs—including requirements to pay premiums, contribute to health savings accounts, or to work—may lead to unintended consequences for patient coverage and access, such ...

Introduction of alcohol found to adversely impact fertility rates in hunter-gatherer community

June 19, 2018
Fernando Ramirez Rozzi, a research director with the French National Centre for Scientific Research has found that the introduction of alcohol to a Baka pygmy hunter-gatherer society caused fertility rates to fall. In his ...

0 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.