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Daniel Gologorsky, James Banta; Pediatric Utilization of Ophthalmology-Specific Emergency Department Services: A Retrospective Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):1542.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (Miami, FL) maintains a 24-hour ophthalmology-specific emergency department (ED) with an approximately 20,000 new patient visits a year. The purpose of this study is to describe the nature and utilization trends of the pediatric patient population presenting for emergency care.
This is a retrospective study all new pediatric patients (ages 0-17) over a 1 year period from June 1, 2014-May 31, 2015. Metrics including patient demographics, insurance status, time of presentation, and diagnosis were derived from electronic medical record (EMR) data.
Of 19,503 total ER visits, 1,639 (8.4%) were pediatric, of which 54% were male and 46% were female. An average of 4.5 patients presented on any given day, with a mean age of 9.3 years. Most patients presented in the afternoon (67%) with only a minority (21%) presenting over a weekend. March witnessed the most pediatric ED visits, while November saw the least. The most common diagnoses were corneal abrasion, chalazion, and allergic and viral conjunctivitis. Most pediatric patients were privately insured (67%), the others having federal insurance (17%), regional insurance (1%), or self-paying (15%).
To our knowledge, this represents the first study examining the utilization patterns of pediatric patients presenting to Ophthalmology specific ED. This study is consistent with the literature and our previously reported study (ARVO 2015, manuscript in press) that a sizeable proportion of ED visits are non-emergent, illustrating a growing societal burden in terms of cost and healthcare resources. In the pediatric population, there was a significant degree of variation as to the demographic, indication, and urgency for pediatric visits to the ED.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.
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