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ASPPH News

PHR Article of the Week: Bottleneck or Magnifying Glass? Monitoring the Health-Care System’s Vital Signs through Emergency Departments

In the latest issue of Public Health Reports, September/October, emergency medicine researchers Dr. Kori Sauser, Dr. Katherine Vickery, Dr. Matthew Davis, comment on how access bottlenecks in outpatient and inpatient health care are often first detectable through trends in emergency department settings.

At this time of dynamic changes in the U.S. health care system, the emergency department (ED) has a unique vantage point from which to monitor the pulse of Americans’ health and to ensure that vulnerable groups are not the victims of unintended consequences of policy and system changes. The ED has a vital, pluripotent role in the U.S. health care system: It is a primary site of acute unscheduled care and the chief source of hospital admissions, it serves as a diagnostic center, and it is an essential strand of federal, state, and community safety nets. With such an array of roles, the ED forms a key intersection, where clinical, social, and financial issues converge and often bottleneck.

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This week’s PHR feature article, Bottleneck or Magnifying Glass? Monitoring the Health-Care System’s Vital Signs through Emergency Departments, may be viewed online through October 5.

The official journal of the U.S. Public Health Service and the U.S. Surgeon General since 1878, PHR serves as an informative and accessible resource for practitioners, professors, scholars, and students of public health. Published in collaboration with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), the bi-monthly, peer-reviewed journal provides important research and presents key discussions on the major issues confronting the public health community. For full access to current content, visit the Public Health Reports website to subscribe.