Date of Graduation

Fall 12-18-2015

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Dr. Capella



Inadequate access to primary care creates a concern to receive comprehensive medical care. Improving access to a consistent source of care can help to obtain high quality of care, continuity of care, and reduce preventable emergency department (ED) visits. The aim of this project is to reduce preventable ED visits by improving patient care access to primary care. Comparing preventable ED visit rates between patients with access to primary care against those without access to primary care services, essentially focusing on those without access to primary care, which live in a medically undeserved community. The data collected was analyzed from ED visits occurring in a three-month time period, for one hospital located in a metropolitan region (a total of approximately 10,000 ED visits). The main outcome measure was ED visit rates among those without patient care access (an average of 140 daily ED visits, 45% of those visits without access to a medical home). Root cause analysis (RCA) was utilized to examine causes for recognizing those without access to primary care services. Patients without access to primary care are more likely to visit the ED for medical care than those with access to primary care. There was higher ED visit rates for those without access to primary care. Therefore, a system was developed to connect patients to a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) for primary care services in that county. The lack of access to a medical home is associated with higher ED visit rates; FQHCs can possibly reduce preventable emergency department (ED) visits for the primary care safety net for those in the community.