Ensuring Access to After-Hours Care – Commonwealth Fund – 4 April 2012

Posted on April 24, 2012. Filed under: Emergency Medicine, Health Mgmt Policy Planning, Health Systems Improvement | Tags: |

Ensuring Access to After-Hours Care – Commonwealth Fund – 4 April 2012

by David Squires

“Urgent care needs are not confined to weekdays and work hours. Nonetheless, patients often have difficulty accessing care after hours without going to the emergency department, which in many circumstances can be an inappropriate and inefficient use of health care resources. Ensuring that patients have timely access to the appropriate level of care on nights and weekends has the potential to reduce unnecessary emergency department use; it can also ensure that patients receive patient-centered, efficient care.

According to past Commonwealth Fund International Surveys, after-hours care is particularly difficult to obtain in the U.S. without going to the emergency department. In recent years, several countries, including the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany, have sought to expand access to after-hours care—often by transitioning from the traditional approach, in which practices designate someone to be “on-call,” to group-based or regional approaches. As the U.S. seeks to strengthen primary care, particularly through the development of patient-centered medical homes, it has a great deal to learn from these international models.”

… continues on the site

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The Netherlands


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