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Editorial
February 16, 2016

Ensuring the Quality of Quality Metrics for Emergency Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Northwestern University and Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA. 2016;315(7):659-660. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.19484

Every year in the United States there are more than 136 million total visits to emergency departments (EDs).1 Approximately 20% of adult patients who seek ED care will be hospitalized, and the rest will be treated and discharged, usually to home. However, a proportion of patients who are discharged from the ED will soon return for additional ED care, usually related to the problem treated at the previous visit or on occasion for new symptoms. Depending on location, payer mix, and acuity of illness, rates of return visits to the ED range from 7.5% to 22.4% between 3 days and 30 days.2,3

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