Reducing older patients’ avoidable presentations for emergency care treatment

Funded by the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, $150,000.

Danielle Mazza1, Christopher Pearce2, Judy Lowthian3, Colette Browning4, Marianne Shearer2 ,
Bianca Brijnath1

  1. Department of General Practice, Monash University
  2. Inner East Melbourne Medicare Local
  3. School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University
  4. Primary Care Research Unit, Monash University

Research shows that increasing numbers of older patients (≥ 70 years) are attending Emergency Departments (ED), ≥4 times per year. To reduce avoidable presentations, there is need to improve the options for managing the health care demand of this older age group in primary care and community settings. Accordingly, this research study aims to better understand the journey of older patients who present to ED unnecessarily and re-enter from primary health care to sub-acute or acute care. The study involves analysing four highly relevant datasets; by conducting a rapid review of the literature to determine the appropriate strategies for preventing patient re-entry from primary health care to sub-acute or acute care methodology; synthesis of the above findings to propose alternative care models; and finally collation and dessemination of study findings via academic, health service and policy avenues.