The emergency department is often thought of as the “band-aid” of the healthcare system, only good for ensuring a patient is not near-death and functioning as a safety net for those who slip through the cracks of the rest of the system. Triage, stabilize, discharge, repeat—this rhythm is all too familiar for healthcare professionals who work in emergency settings.
Some emergency departments recognize the unique opportunity to intervene in chronic conditions during a visit to the emergency department. These post-acute care interventions challenge the notion that the emergency department is merely the last stop in the medical care chain before admitted to inpatient care or discharged. Emergency care is a unique window of time where people who otherwise do not interact with the healthcare system are surrounded by clinicians who have expertise in much more than band-aid care. These post-acute care interventions serve to reduce recidivism, break cycles of illness, and connect patients with a large network of resources in a moment where they may be most aware of the need for help in a place with enormous potential to intervene.
Firearm violence is a topic that is all too familiar to clinicians who work in the emergency department. In the urban settings in which gunshot wounds are commonplace, they are merely a blip on the radar of inner-city violence. Though interpersonal...