Care Coordination: EDMH
Emergency Department to Medical Home Program
For many years, nearly half of emergency department (ED) visits in Milwaukee County have been for non-emergencies, with many of those visits made by uninsured or underinsured individuals lacking a primary care provider. Since 2007, the Partnership’s Emergency Department to Medical Home (EDMH) program has worked to:
- Decrease avoidable emergency room visits and related hospitalizations
- Reduce duplicative emergency room tests and procedures
- Connect high-risk individuals with primary care health homes and other health resources
The EDMH has demonstrated a 44% reduction in subsequent ED usage among patients connected to primary care.
Deploying a combination of standardized transition care management processes and health information technology, the EDMH initiative connects eight adult hospital EDs and 20 safety net clinics in Milwaukee County; facilitating the referral of about 500 ED visitors a month to primary care clinics.
Emergency department staff utilize the Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network to identify patients previously served in emergency settings and avoid duplicative tests. They also use MyHealthDIRECT, a web-based appointment scheduling tool to secure a primary care follow-up appointment electronically, while the patient is in the ED.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s focus on appropriate emergency department use provides key lessons learned by regional alliances in their Aligning Forces for Quality communities – including Milwaukee – as they work to transform local health care and provide models for national reform.