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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020272

Primary Care Comprehensiveness Can Reduce Emergency Department Visits and Hospitalization in People with Hypertension in South Korea

1
Department of Family Medicine, Dongguk University Ilsan Hospital, Goyang 10326, Korea
2
Department of Social and Preventive Medicine and Health Services Research Center, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Chuncheon 24252, Korea
3
Department of Family Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul 06591, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 December 2017 / Revised: 1 February 2018 / Accepted: 4 February 2018 / Published: 5 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Diseases and Multimorbidity in Primary Care)
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Abstract

Hypertension has been the leading risk factor contributing to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, which needs comprehensive measures to manage and can be controlled effectively in primary care. In the health care context of South Korea, where specialists can see patients directly at their own community clinics and there has been no consensus on the definition of primary care, the authors used the nationally representative 2013 Korea Health Panel data, categorized adults (≥18 years) with hypertension by types of usual source of care (USC), and analyzed the association of having a comprehensive community clinic (i.e., primary care) physician as a USC with experience of emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalization within a year. After adjusting for cofounding variables including Charlson comorbidity index scores, those having a primary care physician as a USC remained associated with a decrease in an experience of ED visits (OR: 0.61, 95% CI: 0.40–0.93) and hospitalization (OR: 0.69, 95% CI: 0.49–0.96), compared to those not having a usual physician. Health policies that promote having a primary care physician as a USC could decrease unnecessary experience of ED visits and hospitalization by adults with hypertension. This can partly reduce ED overcrowding and avoidable hospitalization in Korea. View Full-Text
Keywords: primary health care; chronic disease; hypertension; usual source of care; Korea primary health care; chronic disease; hypertension; usual source of care; Korea
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Sung, N.-J.; Choi, Y.-J.; Lee, J.-H. Primary Care Comprehensiveness Can Reduce Emergency Department Visits and Hospitalization in People with Hypertension in South Korea. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 272.

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