Quality Implications of Transferring Emergency Department Patients from Rural Hospitals

Year(s) Funded:
Topic(s): , , , ,
Project Lead: Ira Moscovice

Rural hospitals provide first-line treatment for emergency patients and play a crucial role in stabilizing patients and coordinating transfers to tertiary care. However, little is known about patients who are transferred directly from rural Emergency Departments to other hospitals or their impact on hospital mortality rates. The purpose of this project is to analyze the quality implications of transferring emergency patients from smaller rural hospitals to larger rural and urban facilities.The project will use Medicare inpatient and Emergency Department claims data and descriptive and multivariate statistical methods to: 1) compare patients who are transferred directly from rural hospital Emergency Departments to larger hospitals with those who are admitted as inpatients to rural hospitals in terms of diagnoses, comorbidities, demographics, and the care received and 2) analyze how the inclusion or exclusion of transferred emergency patients affects risk-adjusted mortality rates for transferring and receiving hospitals.

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