Case Management

Hospitals team up to tackle frequent ED visitors

Case Management Monthly, July 1, 2010

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Unlike politicians who only give lip service to working with rivals, BryanLGH and Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center have joined forces to create Lincoln ED Connections, which helps patients who use the ED for primary care. 

The program saved the hospitals more than $2 million in its first three years, and 90% of the program participants kept appointments with their new PCPs. 

Prior to Lincoln ED Connections, BryanLGH had an ED case manager, but her role was limited and her caseload was small—only about 10 patients, says Tom Hoover, RN, MBA-HCM, the Lincoln ED Connections program director. Saint Elizabeth did not have a dedicated ED case manager. 

“We knew there were a lot of patients going to both hospitals, but being separate and not collaborating, we couldn’t do anything,” Hoover says. 

When George Washington University’s Urgent Matters program evaluated both EDs, it found that 38% of the visits could have been better served in a primary care setting. It recommended that the two hospitals partner up and tackle the problem together—a novel idea. 

“To have a competing hospital collaborate with you and share office space is pretty rare,” Hoover says. 

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