My large, urban hospital holds frequent "Innovation Challenges" in which staff can pitch ideas to improve care.
I want to create a program that allows all patients to receive 1 (maybe 2 biannually) totally free visits to the ER for assessment for any condition, and to speak to a provider about any concern. This would take place in the ER, but peripherally in maybe a fast track kind of setting, with a MD/PA/NP, RN, and clerk.
The two-part goal, abridged for brevity, is: 1. Reduce ER overcrowding by diverting patients who frequently seek primary care in the ER, and 2. Proactively identify conditions before they become acute enough to require ER service, thereby reducing healthcare costs to the patient, and further reducing overcrowding.
Essentially the idea is to reimplement doctor housecalls, but instead the house stays put and the patient comes to it.
There are obvious barriers to this concept, but I was interested in getting some feedback on its general utility, practicality, affordability, feasibility, etc., but since so many people utilize the ER as a primary care clinic anyway, this relative ounce of prevention can actually contribute to a pound of cure.
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