Publications by authors named "Ashley C Colucci"

2 Publications

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Reasons for emergency department use: do frequent users differ?

Am J Manag Care 2014 Nov 1;20(11):e506-14. Epub 2014 Nov 1.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Bellevue Hospital Center Room A-345, First Ave and 27th St, New York, NY 10016. E-mail:

Objectives: To examine patients' reasons for using the emergency department (ED) for low-acuity health complaints, and determine whether reasons differed for frequent ED users versus nonfrequent ED users.

Study Design: Prospective cross-sectional survey.

Methods: Patients presenting to an urban public hospital for low-acuity health complaints were surveyed about their reasons for visiting the ED rather than a private doctor's office or clinic. Patients with 3 or more visits to the study hospital ED over the past year were classified as frequent ED users. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine if frequent ED users gave different reasons for ED use than nonfrequent ED users, while controlling for differences in other baseline patient characteristics.

Results: 940 patients, including 163 frequent ED users, completed the study questionnaire. Commonly cited reasons for using the ED were that coming to the ED was easier than making a clinic appointment (82.3% agreed); the problem could not wait (78.8%); they didn't know how to make a clinic appointment (66.7%); they felt the ED provided better care (56.7%); and they believed the clinic would cost more (54.8%). After controlling for other patient characteristics, there were no significant differences found in reasons for ED use given by frequent versus nonfrequent ED users.

Conclusions: Frequent ED users gave similar reasons for using the ED for low-acuity health complaints compared with nonfrequent ED users. Access, convenience, cost, and quality concerns, as well as feeling that ED care was needed, were all commonly cited as reasons for using the ED.
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November 2014

An intervention connecting low-acuity emergency department patients with primary care: effect on future primary care linkage.

Ann Emerg Med 2013 Mar 20;61(3):312-321.e7. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, Yale University School of Medicine and the US Department of Veterans Affairs, New Haven, CT, USA.

Study Objective: Our objective is to determine whether a point-of-care intervention that navigates willing, low-acuity patients from the emergency department (ED) to a Primary Care Clinic will increase future primary care follow-up.

Methods: We conducted a quasi-experimental trial at an urban safety net hospital. Adults presenting to the ED for select low-acuity problems were eligible. Patients were excluded if arriving by emergency medical services, if febrile, or if the triage nurse believed they required ED care. We enrolled 965 patients. Navigators escorted a subset of willing participants to the Primary Care Clinic (in the same hospital complex), where they were assigned a personal physician, were given an overview of clinic services, and received same-day clinic care. The primary outcome was Primary Care Clinic follow-up within 1 year of the index ED visit among patients having no previous primary care provider.

Results: In the bivariate intention-to-treat analysis, 50.3% of intervention group patients versus 36.9% of control group patients with no previous primary care provider had at least 1 Primary Care Clinic follow-up visit in the year after the intervention. In the multivariable analysis, the absolute difference in having at least 1 Primary Care Clinic follow-up for the intervention group compared with the control group was 9.3% (95% confidence interval 2.2% to 16.3%). There was no significant difference in the number of future ED visits.

Conclusion: A point-of-care intervention offering low-acuity ED patients the opportunity to alternatively be treated at the hospital's Primary Care Clinic resulted in increased future primary care follow-up compared with standard ED referral practices.
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March 2013