Study reveals benefits of having GPs in Emergency Departments

October 06, 2017

A new study from the University of Liverpool provides evidence that locating a General Practitioner (GP) in a hospital emergency department (ED) can reduce waiting times and admissions, but may increases antibiotic prescribing.

The study, jointly led by Professor Enitan Carrol of the University's Institute of Infection and Global Health, and Professor Taylor-Robinson of the University's Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, has highlighted the advantages and challenges that can arise when integrating a GP service within a busy paediatric emergency department.

35% increase in visits

In 2014-2015 the total number of visits to EDs in the National Health Service (NHS) in England exceeded 22 million, an increase of 35% over the last decade.

Over 30% of these visits could potentially be managed in primary healthcare facilities. Long wait times and overcrowding in EDs are associated with delays in delivering urgent treatments such as antibiotics for severe infections in children. In recognition of this, one of the key recommendations of a recent report by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine was colocation of out-of-hours primary healthcare provision within ED.

In October 2014 a GP service co-located in the ED at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, one of Europe's busiest paediatric EDs. The researchers used data from Alder Hey linked to GP databases obtained over a six-month period (1 October, 2014 to 31 March, 2015) to show that introducing the GP service to Alder Hey significantly reduced waiting times and admissions, but led to more antibiotic prescribing.

The results of the study are published in BMJ Quality and Safety, the top ranked Health services and Policy journal.

Advantages and challenges

Professor Taylor-Robinson, said: "During this six-month period patients seen during the hours when the GP was available were significantly less likely to be admitted, exceed the four-hour waiting target or leave before being seen. However, they were more likely to receive antibiotics.

"The results presented in this study highlight both the advantages and challenges that can arise when integrating a GP service within a busy paediatric ED. Integrative approaches are currently being seen as a plausible solution to meet the needs of overstretched healthcare services, and further research is needed to guide an evidence-guided decision."
The full study, entitled 'To GP or not to GP: a natural experiment in children triaged to see a GP in a tertiary paediatric emergency department (ED)', can be found here


University of Liverpool

Related Health Articles from Brightsurf:

The mental health impact of pandemics for front line health care staff
New research shows the impact that pandemics have on the mental health of front-line health care staff.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

New measure of social determinants of health may improve cardiovascular health assessment
The authors of this study developed a single risk score derived from multiple social determinants of health that predicts county-level cardiovascular disease mortality.

BU study: High deductible health plans are widening racial health gaps
The growing Black Lives Matter movement has brought more attention to the myriad structures that reinforce racial inequities, in everything from policing to hiring to maternal mortality.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

E-health resource improves men's health behaviours with or without fitness facilities
Men who regularly used a free web resource made significantly more health changes than men who did not, finds a new study from the University of British Columbia and Intensions Consulting.

Mental health outcomes among health care workers during COVID-19 pandemic in Italy
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and insomnia among health care workers in Italy during the COVID-19 pandemic are reported in this observational study.

Mental health of health care workers in china in hospitals with patients with COVID-19
This survey study of almost 1,300 health care workers in China at 34 hospitals equipped with fever clinics or wards for patients with COVID-19 reports on their mental health outcomes, including symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress.

Health records pin broad set of health risks on genetic premutation
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marshfield Clinic have found that there may be a much broader health risk to carriers of the FMR1 premutation, with potentially dozens of clinical conditions that can be ascribed directly to carrying it.

Attitudes about health affect how older adults engage with negative health news
To get older adults to pay attention to important health information, preface it with the good news about their health.

Read More: Health News and Health Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to