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June 26, 2013

Overuse of Emergency Departments

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Jody W. Zylke, MD, Senior Editor.

Author Affiliations: Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Imperial College London, London, England (t.cowling@imperial.ac.uk).

JAMA. 2013;309(24):2549-2550. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.6933

To the Editor: As in the United States, the overuse and misuse of emergency departments (EDs) is a prominent policy issue in England. The annual number of hospital ED visits in England increased from 15.4 million in 2007-2008 to 18.4 million in 2011-2012.1 The patient was given advice only or did not receive treatment in approximately 48% of these ED visits, and no investigations were performed in approximately 40% of ED visits.1