Patients arrived at the ED by ambulance 15.5% of the time, but for patients age 75 years or older, 45% arrived by ambulance.
For nearly two-thirds of the visits, patients arrived during non-business hours, or between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. Monday through Friday and on weekends.
Patients living in nursing homes who visited the ED at four times the rate of those living in private residences. Nursing home residents accounted for about 2.3 million visits.
Homeless people had a visit rate almost twice as high as those living in private residences, and accounted for 542,000 visits.
CT scans were ordered or provided at 13.4% of visits, and half of those were of the head. MRI was ordered or provided less than 1% of visits.
The leading tests ordered or provided during an ED visit were complete blood counts, 35.4%; x-rays, 33.8%; and urinalyses, 22.5%.
Wait Times in Emergency Departments Surge
Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.