Western Journal of Emergency Medicine: Integrating Emergency Care with Population Health
Emergency Department Experience with Novel Electronic Medical Record Order for Referral to Food Resources
- Author(s): Martel, Marc L.
- Klein, Lauren R.
- Hager, Kurt A.
- Cutts, Diana B.
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.5811/westjem.2017.12.35211
Introduction: Food insecurity is a significant issue in the United States and is prevalent in emergency department (ED) patients. The purpose of this study was to report the novel use of an integrated electronic medical record (EMR) order for food resources, and to describe our initial institutional referral patterns after focused education and implementation of the order.
Methods: This was a retrospective, observational study, describing food-bank referral patterns before and after the implementation of dedicated ED education on the novel EMR order for food resources.
Results: In 2015, prior to formal education a total of 1,003 referrals were made to the regional food bank, Second Harvest Heartland. Five referrals were made from the ED. In 2016, after the educational interventions regarding the referral, there were 1,519 referrals hospital-wide, and 55 referrals were made from the ED. Of the 1,519 referrals 1,129 (74%) were successfully contacted by Second Harvest Heartland, and 954 (63%) accepted and received assistance.
Conclusion: Use of the EMR as a tool to refer patients to partner organizations for food resources is plausible and may result in an increase in ED referrals for food resources. Appropriate education is crucial for application of this novel ED process.