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Discharge information and support for veterans Receiving Outpatient Care in the Emergency Department: study design and methods.

Hastings SN, Betts E, Schmader KE, Weinberger M, Van Houtven CH, Hendrix CC, Coffman CJ, Stechuchak KM, Weiner M, Morris K, Kessler C, Oddone EZ. Discharge information and support for veterans Receiving Outpatient Care in the Emergency Department: study design and methods. Contemporary clinical trials. 2014 Nov 1; 39(2):342-50.

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: An explicit goal of Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACTs) within the Veterans Health Administration is to promote continuity of care in primary care clinics and thereby reduce Emergency Department (ED) utilization; however, there has been little research to guide PACTs on how to accomplish this. OBJECTIVES: The overall goal of this study is to examine the impact of a primary care-based nurse telephone support program [DISPO ED] on Veterans treated and released from the ED who are at high risk for repeat visits. METHODS: This study is a two group randomized, controlled trial to evaluate DISPO ED for Veterans treated and released from the ED who are at high risk for repeat visits. We define high risk as those who have had an ED visit or hospitalization during the 6 month period before the index ED visit and have 2 chronic conditions. Veterans are randomized to nurse telephone support or usual care. The primary outcome is repeat ED use within 30 days; secondary outcomes are patient satisfaction with care and total costs. DISCUSSION: The results of this randomized, controlled trial with an Effectiveness-Implementation Type I Hybrid design will be directly relevant to the care of more than 500,000 high risk patients seen in Veterans' Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) EDs annually. Results will also be informative to health systems outside VA aiming to reduce ED use through accountable care organizations.





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