Monday, July 13, 2015

Brad helps define super-utilizers

Brad Flansbaum (again) offers a thoughtful exposition on an important topic, this time frequent flyers (aka super-utilizers) in the emergency room. He notes:

Those individuals present week after week with innumerable complaints, sometimes pedestrian, sometimes critical–always finding themselves back on the ward for weeks at a time.  As expected, they have weak community support and comorbidities in need of TLC, often requiring services not available in their neighborhoods (mental health and substance abuse counseling come to mind). The local house of worship, community center, or corner bar have limits, and they only offer so much spiritual renewal or sustenance.  We all struggle to find a balance for these folks.  We see them a lot. And thus, the ER becomes their second home.

After presenting some important data (above), he concludes:

Super-utilizers require a more individualized, unique approach.  We need to consider the needs of these patients separately.

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