Questions for Christopher Cairns, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Emergency Department Visit Rates by Selected Characteristics: National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, United States, 2018.”
Q: Do you have trend data on emergency department visit rates that goes further back than 2007?
CC: We do have annual reports of emergency department visits prior to 2007 that include emergency department visit rates. These reports are available at the National Center for Health Statistics website, https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/ahcd/ahcd_reports.htm.
Q: Was there a specific finding in the data that surprised you from this report?
CC: There were no surprising findings as our findings in this report are similar to the estimates from 2017.
Q: How did you obtain this data for this report?
CC: Data were obtained through the annual National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey which collects patient and hospital data on emergency department visits. These data are publicly available at ftp://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/Health_Statistics/NCHS/Datasets/NHAMCS
Q: What is the take home message for this report?
CC: Emergency department visit rates vary by many patient and hospital characteristics. This report gives an overview regarding the nation’s status of emergency department visits.
Q: Does this report include multiple visits or just one emergency department visit by an individual?
CC: These data represent approximately 130 million emergency department visits made in 2018. It is possible that the same person could have had multiple visits to the ED over the course of the year. This data is not collected, so it is not possible to know how often this happens.