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Emergency Department Service, healthcare facilities


In rural healthcare facilities, it has been noted that inappropriate use of the Emergency Department can impact the human and financial resources of a healthcare facility, as well as create problems due to unnecessary overcrowding. By surveying Emergency Department directors, our focus is to find out to what extent this inappropriate use of the Emergency Department has on the rest of the healthcare facility, both in terms of personnel, and in terms of affecting potential facility expansion to other medical resources, such as improving inpatient mental health, and addiction health programs. This project utilized surveys from multiple rural healthcare facilities in South Dakota in order to obtain first-hand information regarding how the inappropriate usage of the Emergency Department has had negative downstream effects on the overall function of the healthcare facility. Upon initial survey results, questions were revised to be more specific in order to find the root causes of inappropriate Emergency Departments usage and as to what methods these facilities use to remedy the problems encountered. The expected results, as well as mediating methods obtained from other research, would then be shared with the healthcare facilities in order to encourage improvement in these healthcare organizations so that the inappropriate usage of Emergency Departments can be reduced, and the negative downstream effects can be decreased.

First Advisor

Jewel Shepherd

Research Area

Health Services Administration