Nurse Hotline Causes Sharp Increase in ER Visits

One time some years ago I implemented a 24 x 7 nurse hotline for a two hundred thousand life group……..

By Tom Emerick

I was hoping for reduction in emergency room visits, but after a year the data show that emergency room visits shot way up. When I canceled the program the rate of Emergency room visits went way down again.  One can speculate why that happened, but the fact remains that the nurse hotline drove up emergency room visits dramatically.

A lot of the calls were from parents with sick children in the middle of the night. My theory was that the cover their backsides, the nurses told the parents to take the children to an emergency room.
Here is one rub. With a 200,000 life group the problems show up right away. But a smaller group, say 1000 lives, it might’ve taken years for that problem to show up.
I learned the hard way that something that sounds really really good in health care management can turn out really bad.
Tom Emerick
Edison Healthcare
16225 North River Ridge Rd
Fayetteville, AR 72704
(479) 957-4902

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