User Characteristics of a Low-Acuity Emergency Department Alternative for Low-Income Patients

Heinert, SW.

Emergency department (ED) use for healthcare that can be treated elsewhere is costly to the healthcare system. However, convenience settings such as urgent care centers (UCC) are generally inaccessible to low-income patients. Housing an UCC within a federally qualified health center (FQHC UCC) provides an accessible convenience setting for low-income patients. In 2014 a FQHC UCC opened two blocks from an ED in the same health system. Our goal was to compare characteristics, access to care, and utilization preferences for FQHC UCC and low-acuity ED patients through retrospective chart review and prospective surveying.

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Prevalence of Emergency Department Social Risk and Social Needs

Molina, MF.

Social risks, or adverse social conditions associated with poor health, are prevalent in emergency department (ED) patients, but little is known about how the prevalence of social risk compares to a patient’s reported social need, which incorporates patient preference for intervention. The goal of this study was to describe the relationship between social risk and social need, and identify factors associated with differential responses to social risk and social need questions.

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Improving Understanding of Screening Questions for Social Risk and Social Need Among Emergency Department Patients

Ciccolo, G.

With recent healthcare policy changes, including the creation of accountable care organizations, screening for social risks such as food and housing insecurity has become increasingly common in the healthcare system. However, the wide variety of different tools used for screening makes it challenging to compare across systems. In addition, the majority of tools used to measure social risks have only been tested in primary care settings and may not be optimal for emergency department (ED) use. Therefore, the goal of this study was to create a brief social screening tool for use in EDs.

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Academic Emergency Medicine Faculty Experiences with Racial and Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Lu, DW.

Despite the increasing diversity of individuals entering medicine, physicians from racial and sexual minority groups continue to experience bias and discrimination in the workplace. The objective of this study was to determine the current experiences and perceptions of discrimination on the basis of race and sexual orientation among academic emergency medicine (EM) faculty.

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Impact of Social Determinants of Health, Health Literacy, Self-perceived Risk, and Trust in the Emergency Physician on Compliance with Follow-up

Sutton, J.

Patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with “low-risk” acute coronary syndrome (ACS) symptoms can be discharged with outpatient follow-up. However, follow-up compliance is low for unknown nonclinical reasons. We hypothesized that a patient’s social factors, health literacy, self-perceived risk, and trust in the emergency physician may impact follow-up compliance.

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Anti-immigrant Rhetoric and the Experiences of Latino Immigrants in the Emergency Department

Ornelas, C.

Anti-immigrant rhetoric and increased enforcement of immigration laws have induced worry and safety concerns among undocumented Latino immigrants (UDLI) and legal Latino residents/citizens (LLRC), with some delaying the time to care.1 In this study, we conducted a qualitative analysis of statements made by emergency department (ED) patients – a majority of whom were UDLI and LLRC – participating in a study to better understand their experiences and fears with regard to anti-immigrant rhetoric, immigration enforcement, and ED utilization.

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Importance of Mentoring on Workplace Engagement of Emergency Medicine Faculty: A Multi-institutional Study

Lucas, RH.

Mentoring in emergency medicine (EM) has not been well studied despite a larger body of literature that has described the value of mentoring in academic medicine on career satisfaction and scholarly output. Over half of all EM faculty nationally are of junior faculty ranks. The aim of this study was to identify the frequency and types of mentoring in EM, how types of mentoring in EM differ by gender, and how mentoring correlates with workplace satisfaction for EM faculty.

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Homeless Shelter Characteristics and Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2

Ralli, M.

To the Editor:

We read with interest the article by Rebecca Karb et al1 titled “Homeless shelter characteristics and prevalence of SARS-CoV-2,” published in the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine. We appreciated the authors focusing on people experiencing homelessness, a population that has been particularly impacted by the recent coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic and that is more at risk of contracting COVID-19 for specific environmental and individual characteristics.2

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Language Barriers and Timely Analgesia for Long Bone Fractures in a Pediatric Emergency Department

Gaba, M.

Long bone fractures are common painful conditions often managed in the pediatric emergency department (PED). Delay to providing effective pediatric pain management is multifactorial. There is limited information regarding how the issue of language spoken impacts the provision of adequate and timely institution of analgesia. We sought to determine whether there is a difference between English-speaking and non-English speaking patients with respect to time to pain management for long bone fractures in a multi-ethnic urban PED.

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Geographically Indexed Referral Databases to Address Social Needs in the Emergency Department

Curt, A.

Unmet health-related social needs (HRSN) are among the drivers of disparities in morbidity and mortality during public health emergencies such as the novel coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. Although emergency departments (ED) see a high volume of patients with HRSN, ED providers have limited time to complete detailed assessments of patients’ HRSN and are not always able to provide up-to-date and comprehensive information to patients on available community resources. Electronic, geographically indexed resource database systems have the potential to provide an efficient way for emergency physicians to rapidly identify community resources in settings where immediate social work consultation is not accessible.

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A Model Partnership: Mentoring Underrepresented Students in Medicine (URiM) in Emergency Medicine

Goines, J.

Creating a racially and ethnically diverse workforce remains a challenge for medical specialties, including emergency medicine (EM). One area to examine is a partnership between a predominantly white institution (PWI) with a historically black college and university (HBCU) to determine whether this partnership would increase the number of underrepresented in medicine (URiM) in EM who are from a HBCU.

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Gender-based Barriers in the Advancement of Women Leaders in Emergency Medicine: A Multi-institutional Qualitative Study

Graham, EM.

Leadership positions occupied by women within academic emergency medicine have remained stagnant despite increasing numbers of women with faculty appointments. We distributed a multi-institutional survey to women faculty and residents to evaluate categorical characteristics contributing to success and differences between the two groups.

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Perceptions of Emergency Care by Sexual and Gender Minorities in Colorado: Barriers, Quality, and Factors Affecting Identity Disclosure

LaPlant, WG.

Expanding on data concerning emergency department (ED) use and avoidance by the sexual minority (those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, other [LGTBQ+]) and gender minority (those who identify as transgender, gender nonconforming, other) community may inform future ED LGTBQ+ training and clinical practice. Investigation objectives included characterizing rates of emergency care avoidance, identifying barriers to emergency care, and assessing emergency care quality and cultural competency for sexual and gender minorities.

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Racial Discrimination from Patients: Institutional Strategies to Establish Respectful Emergency Department Environments

Chary, AN.

Social identity-based discrimination from patients against healthcare providers is a prevalent and well- documented phenomenon. Numerous studies and essays detail clinicians’ experiences of slurs, harassment, and violence from patients based on racial identity. In this essay, we advance arguments about how emergency departments (ED) should respond to interpersonal racism from patients. We use an anthropological definition of race as a socially constructed way of categorizing humans based on perceived physical traits, such as skin and hair color.9 However, race does not have an inherent biological or genetic basis: there is greater physical and genetic variation within racial groups than between them, and racial categories vary across societies. Rather, race is assigned in ways that afford privilege, wealth, and power to some, while disadvantaging others.

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Contact Information

WestJEM/ Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Irvine Health

333 The City Blvd. West, Rt 128-01
Suite 640
Orange, CA 92868, USA
Phone: 1-714-456-6389


ISSN: 1936-900X
e-ISSN: 1936-9018

ISSN: 2474-252X

Our Philosophy

Emergency Medicine is a specialty which closely reflects societal challenges and consequences of public policy decisions. The emergency department specifically deals with social injustice, health and economic disparities, violence, substance abuse, and disaster preparedness and response. This journal focuses on how emergency care affects the health of the community and population, and conversely, how these societal challenges affect the composition of the patient population who seek care in the emergency department. The development of better systems to provide emergency care, including technology solutions, is critical to enhancing population health.