The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is readying a pilot program to test an emergency department discharge tool.

The goals are to reduce unnecessary visits to the ED, reduce health care expenditures, and streamline and enhance the quality of care, according to a notice published August 27 in the Federal Register.

AHRQ is developing the Emergency Department Discharge Tool, with testing to be done in three Johns Hopkins EDs in Baltimore. The tool will assist in screening the medical record of all adult patients to identify those frequently using ED services, which is a major risk factor for ED discharge failures.

“For those flagged as frequent ED users, this tool uses data collected from the patient’s record and from the patient himself to identify individuals with risk factors that have been shown in literature to predict sub-optimal ED discharges and resulting revisits,” according to the notice. “These risk factors include patients who are uninsured, lack a primary care physician, have psychiatric diseases, are substance users, have difficulty caring for themselves, or have trouble comprehending discharge instructions.”

More information is available here.

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