Nursing home residents are a highly vulnerable group prone to acute complications of their multiple medical conditions and often requiring acute care services, such as those provided in the emergency department (ED). Although these residents have been identified as particularly heavy users of EDs, there has been relatively little empiric research in this area and much of which has been done is now nearly 20 years old and based on limited samples.
The objectives of this study are:
1) to describe ED visits made by nursing home residents in Ontario in terms of frequency, reason, appropriateness, timing and discharge status;
2) to quantify variation in ED visit rates between nursing homes in Ontario; and
3) to estimate the association between nursing home-level characteristics (physician visit intensity, geographic location and resident case-mix profile) and variation in ED visit rates.