Emergency Departments (EDs) are supposed to provide healthcare to patients with acute clinical conditions. Nevertheless almost 80% of total access to EDs is represented by white and green code patients. Looking at triage code classification as a proxy of patients’ severity, it clearly emerges that many accesses to EDs are inappropriate because of the absence of urgency. This paper is intended to investigate this phenomenon, defining an objective criterion of inappropriateness and estimating the impact it has on ED hospitals in terms of quality and cost. For this purpose a descriptive statistical and econometric analysis is implemented. We also focus our attention on the role played by non-EU patients without residence permits who are unable to get healthcare from general practitioners or other local care facilities.
Keywords: Health, Emergency Department, Inappropriateness, Efficiency, Overcrowding, Quality
Jel Code: H51, I11