Impact of JayDoc Free Clinic on Emergency Department Usage in Kansas City
Keywords:Emergency Department, Acute Care Services, Insurance, Primary Care, Referral
Introduction.JayDoc Free Clinic (JayDoc) serves medical needs of uninsured patients in the Kansas City metropolitan area. It is known that patients who have access to primary care are less likely to visit their local Emergency Department (ED) for non-emergent needs. However, it is not well described if JayDoc lowers usage of The University of Kansas Health System (TUKHS) ED. This is the first study to assess the patient referral process between TUKHS ED and JayDoc.
Methods. The authors administered a voluntary survey to every patient triaged at JayDoc, even if they were ultimately not accepted for a visit. Items on the questionnaire included health insurance status, primary language, and access to a primary care physician. The authors included questions on the usage of TUKHS ED in the last 12 months.
Results.Seventy-three patients completed the questionnaire. Approximately 10% of respondents reported they visited the ED in the last 12 months and received a referral to JayDoc from staff. However, authors observed no statistically significant difference in the proportion of new patients who used the ED in the last 12 months compared to that of returning patients.
Conclusions.Results of this study demonstrated an existing referral system between JayDoc and TUKHS ED. However, the authors could not conclude that JayDoc reduces non-emergent ED visits among its patient population. Future initiatives will include further education to ED providers to increase the number of patients being referred to JayDoc.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Ethan Kallenberger, B.S., Eilidh Chowanec, B.S., Andrew Pirotte, M.D.
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