When healthcare teams use remote health monitoring surveys to capture insights about patients, they can reduce unnecessary trips to the emergency room. Patients’ use of the ER has increased in recent years. Simply put, too many Americans are now showing up at hospital emergency rooms with preventable issues. Below are three ER trends that highlight why it is important for healthcare teams to use remote health monitoring surveys to help reduce avoidable trips to the ER.
- Nearly half of the healthcare provided to patients in the U.S. is delivered by emergency departments.
Hospital emergency rooms have become places where many patients receive medical care for preventable and non-emergency issues. There are several reasons this happens. One is that patients often don’t take the necessary actions to manage their health, and they end up needing urgent medical care. For example, if a patient doesn’t take his prescribed medication, or he takes it incorrectly, he might experience complications that result in a trip to the ER and possibly a hospital admission. Healthcare teams can use surveys—like health monitoring surveys and medication adherence surveys—to better understand how successfully patients are managing their health on their own. When surveys show patients are struggling, providers can intervene and help them get back on track before they experience adverse health issues that send them to the ER unnecessarily.
2. Nearly two-thirds of ER visits occur after hours.
Patients go to the emergency room for medical care when they don’t feel other options are available. During normal business hours, patients can call their primary care doctor or possibly visit an urgent care clinic if they are in pain or are having issues that aren’t life threatening. But if a patient is in pain at 10 p.m. on a Tuesday night, the only place to receive medical care is typically the ER. Monitoring for pain and other potential problems via surveys gives providers opportunities to step in and offer support and solutions before issues escalate. This helps reduce the need for patients to resort to the ER after hours.
3. Having a chronic illness increases the rate at which patients use the emergency department.
Chronic patients are more likely to become frequent users of the ER. Half of adults in the U.S. have at least one chronic illness; therefore, much of the demand for emergency department services is tied to chronic disease. Patients tend to have little confidence in their ability to effectively manage their chronic conditions. A West study found that 91 percent of chronic patients want help managing their disease, and one in five patients feel they need 24-hour disease management assistance. Healthcare teams that use surveys to remotely monitor chronic patients can better understand when and how to support patients in order to help them manage their health and avoid the hospital.
Surveys make it easier for healthcare teams to ensure patients get the right care in the most appropriate setting, and that they aren’t using the ER unnecessarily. For more information about using surveys to track pain and other symptoms that can lead to ER visits, download The Pain Problem: The ER Is the Wrong Place to Treat Chronic Pain.