GW Researcher Looks at Interventions Used to Decrease Emergency Department Use

Research by Dr. Jesse Pines, MD,  a professor of health policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS), examines the effectiveness of five intervention techniques in reducing patient visits to emergency departments. Dr. Pines reviewed published studies that focused on patient education, managed care, pre-hospital diversion and other techniques outside of the emergency department, which revealed that intervention programs have largely been successful.

While many of the studies demonstrated large reductions in emergency department use, Dr. Pines says that these intervention programs need to be studied to ensure they are safe and look at how they impact big picture costs. He warns that, “Discouraging people from getting needed care has the potential for unintended consequences when sick people stay home.” In addition to his role at SPHHS, Dr. Pines also serves as the director of the Office of Clinical Practice Innovation and is a professor of emergency medicine at the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The paper was published in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine and is available online