March 2019

Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award
March 28, 2019

In July of 2012, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) rolled out its Acute Care Plan (ACP) program in its Emergency Department. The team at MGH developed ACPs to improve the coordination of care for high frequency emergency department (ED) patients. These plans are notes connected to their ED Information System, which give quick guidance to ED clinicians regarding the patient’s treatment plan, disposition, and who to contact if the patient is in the ED. They were created to address the lack of coordination among outpatient providers and ED providers, particularly for these complex patients. ACPs are special treatment plans integrated within a patient’s record with information from the patient’s primary care provider, case manager, or another clinician to help guide treatment decisions should the patient end up in the ED. ACPs are automatically flagged in the ED Information System (EDIS) when a patient arrives to the ED. With an ACP, patients may avoid unnecessary testing and/or admissions, as there is seamless documentation of the patient’s risk factors and history Since implementation, the number of visits and length of stay for high frequency ED patients selected to have an Acute Care Plan have decreased. Their initial analysis demonstrated some positive results. Comparing 1 year prior to the ACP and 1 year after the ACP, there was a 39% decrease in ED visit volume among this high utilizer population (a net decrease of 565 visits). Approximately 70% of patients who had an ACP experienced a decrease in ED visit volume in the year following the ACP. 60% of patients with an ACP experienced a decrease in ED LOS. The number of hospital admissions decreased by 48% for patients with an ACP (a net decrease of 143 admissions). The overall admit rate among this population decreased by 14%, from 20.8% to 17.9%.

Block visualization showing 2016 firearms related deaths at 58% of intentional causes and of those 60% suicide and 38% homicide
March 12, 2019

In 2016, there were a total of 63,979 intentional injury deaths in the United States. Of these, 37,353 (58%) involved a firearm: 22,938 (36%) were intentional self-harm deaths and 14,415 (23%) were assault-related deaths. Since 1999, firearm violence injury death rates have increased by 17%. Comparatively, traffic-related death rates have decreased by 22%. In addition to mortality, firearm violence injury exerts an annual burden of over $2.8 billion on the healthcare system.