Pediatric emergency room response to community pediatricians' expectations

Jacob Urkin*, Sheila S. Warshawsky, Joseph Press

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In Israel the pediatric emergency room functions as an urgent primary care clinic in addition to dealing with life-threatening situations. Due to health insurance stipulations, most patients come to the PER with a referral from the community clinic. The relationship between the referring physician's expectations and the subsequent management of the referred patient in the PER is not well defined. Objectives: To evaluate the relationship between the expectations of the primary care physician and the management of referred patients in the PER, assess the type of information provided by the referring physician, and examine the effect of additional information obtained from the referring physician on patient management in the PER. Methods: We reviewed the records of patients presenting at the PER with referrals from primary care physicians as well as additional information obtained by telephone interviews with the referring physicians. Results: The expectations of the referring physicians were not fully documented in the referral form. The PER responded to the patient as if the PER was the initial contact. There was no significant difference in the response of PER physicians with or without additional information from the referring physicians. Conclusions: The PER acts as an independent unit with no obligation to satisfy the expectations of the referring physicians. The relationship between the PER and the referring physicians needs to be clarified. Guidelines and structured PER referral forms should be implemented in all primary care clinics to improve patient management and communication between health providers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-445
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Community health care
  • Gatekeeper
  • Pediatric emergency room
  • Pediatrics
  • Referrals


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