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J Sch Health. 2001 May;71(5):196-8.

Impact of a school-based health center on emergency department use by elementary school students.

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University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Kentucky Clinic J443, Lexington, KY 40536, USA.


While school-based health centers (SBHC) improve student access to health services, it remains unclear if use of the centers can reduce hospital emergency department visits. This study evaluated the impact of an elementary school SBHC on emergency department visits by children enrolled in the center. Major reasons for visits included trauma (32%), otitis media (15%), upper respiratory infections (9%), and gastroenteritis (6%). Implementation of an elementary SBHC resulted in a significant decrease (p < 0.03) in non-urgent emergency department visits. No difference existed in urgent emergency department visits. Medicaid-insured children were more likely to use the emergency department than privately insured or uninsured children. Reducing emergency department visits can decrease medical costs and support the cost effectiveness of SBHCs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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