JOURNAL ARTICLE

Does setting up out of hours primary care cooperatives outside a hospital reduce demand for emergency care?

C J T van Uden, H F J M Crebolder
Emergency Medicine Journal: EMJ 2004, 21 (6): 722-3
15496709

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether the reorganisation of out of hours primary care, from practice rotas to GP cooperatives, changed utilisation of primary and hospital emergency care.

METHODS: During a four week period before and a four week period after the reorganisation of out of hours primary care in a region in the south of the Netherlands all patient contacts with general practitioners and hospital accident and emergency (A&E) departments were analysed.

RESULTS: A 10% increase was found in patient contacts with out of hours primary care, and a 9% decrease in patient contacts with out of hours emergency care. The number of self referrals at the A&E department was reduced by about 4%.

CONCLUSIONS: The reorganisation of out of hours primary care has led to a shift in patient contacts from emergency care to primary care.

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