Dealing with Minor Illnesses: The Link between Primary Care Characteristics and First Aid Clinics’ Attendances

Quaderni - Working Paper DSE N° 925

19 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2014

See all articles by Andrea Donatini

Andrea Donatini

Regione Emilia-Romagna

Gianluca Fiorentini

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Matteo Lippi Bruni

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Irene Mammi

Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Cristina Ugolini

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 14, 2014

Abstract

The reformulation of existing boundaries between primary and secondary care, in order to shift selected services traditionally provided by Emergency Departments to community-based alternatives has determined a variety of organisational solutions aimed at reducing the ED overcrowding. One innovative change has been the introduction of fast-track systems for minor injuries or illnesses, whereby community care providers are involved in order to divert patients away from EDs. These facilities offer an open-access service for patients not requiring hospital treatments, and may be staffed by nurses and/or primary care general practitioners operating within, or alongside, the ED. To date little research has been undertaken on such experiences. To fill this gap, we analyse a First-aid clinic (FaC) in the Italian city of Parma, consisting of a minor injury unit located alongside the teaching hospital’s ED. We examine the link between the utilisation rates of the FaC and primary care characteristics, focusing on the main organisational features of the practices and estimating panel count data models for 2007-2010. Our main findings indicate that the younger cohorts are heavy users of the FaC and that the extension of practice opening hours significantly lowers the number of attendances, after controlling for GP’s and practice’s characteristics.

Keywords: Minor illness units, Emergency Departments, avoidable attendance, primary care, panel count data models

JEL Classification: I11, I18, C31

Suggested Citation

Donatini, Andrea and Fiorentini, Gianluca and Lippi Bruni, Matteo and Mammi, Irene and Ugolini, Cristina, Dealing with Minor Illnesses: The Link between Primary Care Characteristics and First Aid Clinics’ Attendances (February 14, 2014). Quaderni - Working Paper DSE N° 925. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2395893 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2395893

Andrea Donatini (Contact Author)

Regione Emilia-Romagna ( email )

Viale Aldo Moro 52
Bologna, 40127
Italy

Gianluca Fiorentini

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Strada Maggiore 45
Bologna, 40125
Italy

Matteo Lippi Bruni

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli, 2
40126 Bologna, 40126
Italy

Irene Mammi

Ca' Foscari University of Venice ( email )

Dorsoduro 3246
Venice, Veneto 30123
Italy

Cristina Ugolini

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40126
Italy

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