Expand Pharmacist Roles to Reduce ER Visits

canadafreepress.com | 1/15/2019 | Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh
abbycraig (Posted by) Level 3
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As I have recently experienced during a recent ER visit in northern Virginia, many cases presenting themselves are cases of sniffles of illegal aliens and their children who use the ER as their primary physician because ER visits are free to them, paid for by the U.S. taxpayers.

A seven-year study just released on January 10, 2019, by the University of Waterloo in Canada found that pharmacists could dramatically reduce ER visits by “incorporating them with an expanded scope into the community or hospital emergency departments,” thus reducing the overcrowding of emergency rooms (ERs).

Wasem - Alsabbagh - Sherilyn - Houle - Emergency

Wasem Alsabbagh and Sherilyn Houle found that “almost one-third of non-urgent Emergency Department (ED) visits in Ontario were for conditions that could potentially be managed by pharmacists with an expanded scope of practice – available in other jurisdictions in Canada.”

“Overcrowding in EDs is a concern most Canadians can relate to, and we know that it can lead to increased mortality and a higher rate of patients who leave without receiving treatment,” said Wasem Alsabbagh, a professor at the Waterloo School of Pharmacy.

Findings - Support - Pharmacists - Scope - Community

He added, “Our findings support that we need to see more pharmacists working with expanded scope in community practice or based in the ED. This may reduce overcrowding and free more resources in EDs to care for more acute patients.”

After the researchers examined data from 2010-2017 of all Ontario hospital Emergency Department (ED) cases, they found that one in five patients who sought emergency care had non-urgent health concerns. Such unnecessary visits could have been potentially managed by a pharmacist.

Percentage - Care - Authors - Study - Scales

To ascertain the percentage of non-urgent care, the authors of the study used standard scales that measured the severity of the patients’ symptoms and used statistics to determine which cases could have been managed by...
(Excerpt) Read more at: canadafreepress.com
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