Where do family practice patients go in case of emergency?

Roland Grad, Janusz Kaczorowski, Yoram Singer, Cheryl Levitt, Jeff Mandelcorn

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Scopus citations


    OBJECTIVE To determine the annual incidence of patient-defined emergencies and patients' use of emergency services at a family medicine teaching unit. DESIGN Cross-sectional survey. SETTING Hospital-based family medicine teaching unit in Montreal. PARTICIPANTS Registered patients attending a family medicine teaching unit during 11 consecutive weekdays. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Annual incidence of patient-defined medical emergencies and use of emergency services at the unit. RESULTS Eligible patients made 815 visits during the study period; 584 usable questionnaires were returned for a response rate of 71.7%. In the previous 12 months, 37% of patients reported at least one medical emergency. For their last emergency, 42% reported using at least one of the emergency services offered by the clinic. Only 19% of patients with after-hours emergencies reported using our on-call system. Although socioeconomic and clinical variables did not predict the incidence of patient-defined emergencies, multivariate analysis revealed three significant predictors for use: patients with the practice for 5 or more years were more likely to use our services, while patients 75 and older and those with emergencies after hours were less likely to use our services. CONCLUSIONS In an urban group family practice, annual incidence of medical emergencies among registered patients was 37%. Those whose most recent emergency occurred after hours used the clinics' emergency on-call services disappointingly little.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2666-2672
    Number of pages7
    JournalCanadian Family Physician
    Issue numberDEC.
    StatePublished - 1 Dec 1998

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Family Practice


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