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Decision tree for patients to decide: ED or urgent-care center

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Sunil Budhrani, M.D., has spent about 20 years treating patients in emergency departments, so he knows that many people still go to the ED for minor injuries or illnesses.

Dr. Budhrani, now the chief medical officer of Innovation Health, is “amazed” that he continues to see patients come to the ED for  such  minor conditions as cuts, bruises and sore throats, he said in a recent interview with FierceHealthcare. Innovation Health is a joint venture of Aetna and Inova Health System, which serves the Washington, D.C. metro area.

A new feature of that effort is an illustrated decision tree  that help patients  decide which place — ED or urgent-care center — is warranted by certain symptoms.

Innovation Health  distributes this guidance information to providers as well as directly to patients.

Dr. Budhrani can  communicate directly with the medical directors of a major health system such as  Inova about how to instruct members about the services  that Innovation Health offers. Innovation Health also uses its contractual relationships with other providers to let them know that it has one of the largest networks of urgent-care centers in its region.

Great for expanding  and diversifying its customer base.

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