The use of Emergency Departments (EDs) is continuously increasing and the challenge of guaranteeing an efficient and effective service is threatened by the phenomena of inappropriate and frequent use. Most of the literature on the topic focuses on adult population; in this study we analyse the issue of frequent use of ED among paediatric patients, with the aim of detecting the most significant socio-demographic and clinical predictors of frequent use of emergency services. Results, based on data collected from the ED of one of the most important paediatric Italian Hospital, show that children aged less than 12 months, foreign and chronic patients (particularly those suffering from mental illness, respiratory diseases and circulatory system problems) have a higher risk of becoming frequent and highly frequent ED users. It emerges that frequent users, although they only represent the 8% of total number of accesses, they account for 19% of total costs.
Keywords: Paediatric emergency department, Frequent user, Healthcare system sustainability, Inappropriate use, Risk factors, chronic conditions
Jel Code: H51; I11, I12, C50
Enrico Di Bella, Lucia Fontana, Lucia Leporatti, Marcello Montefiori, Paolo Petralia, in "STUDI ECONOMICI " 118-119-120/2016, pp. 312-327, DOI:10.3280/STE2016-118017