Patient Visits Higher at Rural Emergency Departments

Author | Kylie Urban

For some patients, the local emergency department is their main source for health care. A recent study examined emergency department visits from 2005-2016 and found that rural emergency department visits increased dramatically over that 12-year period.

They rose from 36.5 to 64.5 visits per 100 people, compared with urban visits, which increased from 40.2 to 42.8. 

"Patterns of use of emergency departments by populations are important indicators of their health care needs. Increased reliance on emergency departments for health care by rural populations may reflect increased health care needs or challenges in access to alternative sources of outpatient care," says study co-author Margaret Greenwood-Ericksen (M.Sc. 2018), M.D., an assistant professor of emergency medicine and health services researcher at the University of New Mexico. The study was conducted when she was a fellow in the National Clinician Scholars Program at the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

The study, published in JAMA Open Network, used visit data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Keith Kocher, M.D. (Residency 2007), MPH, assistant professor of emergency medicine, co-authored the study.


More Articles About: rural medicine emergency departments Patients Health Care
Featured News & Stories
Medicine at Michigan
Survey Says: What Older Adults Want
How the National Poll on Healthy Aging became a household name
Medicine at Michigan
COVID-19 Is Hurting Our Mental Health. But What Can We Do About It?
Patient stories, expert perspective, and how we can thrive in the new normal
Medicine at Michigan
Inside the Regional Infectious Containment Unit
Poignant photos from the front line
Medicine at Michigan
The Fight Against COVID-19
What it was like on the front lines at Michigan Medicine
Medicine at Michigan
When Magic Happens
Dean Runge’s take on the “hospital of the future”
Medicine at Michigan
Wolverine Street Medicine
Med students treat homeless patients in Detroit