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Copley Hospital and Local Blueprint Collaborate in Meeting the Needs of Patients

January 15, 2014

Morrisville – For the past year Copley Hospital and members of the Copley Service Area Blueprint for Health Program have been collaborating efforts with a goal of meeting the health needs of our community. Among the areas identified the team determined immediate needs to be;

  • Connecting patients to a Primary Care Provider (PCP) in our service area, and
  • Improving the education patients receive on making the right choice –

When to choose the Doctor’s Office or Emergency Department (ED).

Once identified, the group researched data and set forth goals as they rolled out the following Initiatives:


ED/PCP Initiative
When patients register at the Emergency Department they are asked if they have a PCP. If the patient does not have a PCP, and gives Copley permission to help get them one, their information is shared with a Care Coordinator who contacts them with PCP information. To date:

  • Since December, 307 patients have been referred to the Care Coordinator in getting a PCP.
  • Approximately 70% of those have secured a PCP.


Reducing Avoidable ER Visits – Making the Right Call
Emergency Room care has a direct impact on the cost of health care, especially when the use is inappropriate, meaning care could have been provided in a less expensive setting such as the doctor’s office. Patients, when possible, should be treated by their primary care provider for non-emergency conditions.

An informational flier was developed by the team to help educate patients on making the right call – Doctor’s Office or Emergency Department. Fliers have been distributed widely to all area Primary Care Practices as well as social service organizations throughout the community. Information continues to be an ongoing piece that Copley includes in a number of publications.

In addition to the flier, a weekly report is shared with each practice’s [Morrisville Family Health Care, Stowe Family Practice and Hardwick Area Health Center] Care Coordinator letting them know who is presenting in the ED. This information allows the practice to reach out to the patient that may be using the ED inappropriately.

To date, these initiatives continue to be monitored through data collection, reviewed, and when necessary improvement processes are determined.

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Doctor’s Office or Emergency Room?

In an effort to reduce the number of avoidable ER visits; visits for an earache, sore throat, etc. Copley and the Blueprint team continue to work on ways to better educate the community on when the medical need is truly and ER visit.

You should seek out the care of your doctor for:

  • Common illnesses: fever, flu, sore throat, coughs
  • For problems that need care now: asthma, infections, injuries, sprains, vomiting
  • Always for: checkups and vaccinations, help with long-term or chronic conditions or illnesses

Always seek out the Emergency Room for:

  • when bleeding won’t stop
  • when breathing is very hard
  • after a serious accident
  • after a convulsion that lasts more than three minutes
  • if you have symptoms of a heart attack (chest pain, sweating, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, dizziness) – call 9-1-1.
  • and, always seek out the care of the ED when you are risking your health without help.