ER is for Emergencies

Emergency room sign with ER is for Emergencies in text

ER is For Emergencies Results in Better Care Coordination and Cost Savings

Emergency Department Information Exchange (EDIE)

  • A group is available in EDIE that lists all patients that have visited your ED in the last month that have met or exceeded five ED visits in the last twelve months. The group is available in the Referrals & Groups section and is titled “5 in 12 Population.”
  • A Care Guidelines template is also available in EDIE. The template was developed by clinicians from across the state and is located in the Care Guidelines section on each Patient Screen in EDIE.

Seven Best Practices Program

The goal of the Seven Best Practices program is to redirect care to the most appropriate setting, reduce low acuity, and reduce preventable Medicaid emergency room visits. The plan, which attempts to address the root of the problem—chronic medical conditions, substance abuse issues, and lack of primary care access—focuses on high users and will:

  1. Track emergency department visits to reduce “ED shopping”;
  2. Implement patient education efforts to re-direct care to the most appropriate setting;
  3. Institute an extensive case management program to reduce inappropriate emergency department utilization by frequent users;
  4. Reduce inappropriate ED visits by collaborative use of prompt (72 hour) visits to primary care physicians and improving access to care;
  5. Implement narcotic guidelines;
  6. Track data on patients prescribed controlled substances by widespread participation in the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP); and
  7. Track progress of the plan to make sure steps are working.

See below for one-page document outlining Seven Best Practices. Our success will work to prevent the state from enacting payment cuts to both hospitals and physicians for emergency room services.

Getting Started:

Overview PowerPoint

Best Practices Slides

Best Practice FAQ Sheet

Seven Best Practices


Seven Best Practices – Schlicher, Anderson, Neven

Managing Difficult Conversations – Anderson

How Payors can Contribute – Thompson

EDIE demonstration screen – Rudberg

Health Integration Project: Emergency Department Navigation in Oregon – Henderson

Department of Psychiatry Emergency Department Case Management Program in San Francisco – Kathy O’Brian

Best Practice Goal
A) Electronic Health Information Exchange patient information among emergency departments
B) Patient Education (Translated into multiple languages.) Help patients understand and use appropriate sources of care
C) Patient Review and Coordination (PRC) Information Ensure hospitals know when they are treating a PRC patient and treat accordingly
D) Patient Care Plans Assist clients with their care plans
E) Narcotic guidelines Reduce drug-seeking and drug-dispensing to frequent ER users
F) Prescription Monitoring Ensure coordination of prescription drug prescribing practices


January 28, 2015: Coalition of hospitals, physicians and Health Care Authority getting national attention (read the press release here)

Policy: Care Management in the ED (Sample Policy)

Background information on Medicaid Emergency Department Use

EMTALA Fact Sheet

Implementing Emergency Room Best Practices

Letter to HCA and legislators regarding non-emergent conditions

ER limit press release

Spokesman Review article

Seattle P-I article

AMEDNEWS article

The Daily News Online, Longview, WA article article


Contact Us

Washington State Hospital Association
999 Third Avenue
Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98104

Map / Directions

206.281.7211 phone
206.283.6122 fax

Staff List