An analysis of the diagnoses and costs of pediatric emergency care visits: a single center study

Annika Kauppala, Paula Heikkilä, Sauli Palmu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Children’s emergency care visits are common, although the costs and reasons for visits vary. This register-based study examines the costs of pediatric emergency care and the diagnoses related to visits made to the Pediatric Emergency Unit at Tampere University Hospital (Tays), Tampere, Finland. Methods: This retrospective study described pediatric emergency care visits made between September 2018 and December 2019 to a single center in Tampere, Finland. The data were gathered from medical files and from cost-per-patient software and analyzed in groups by age, season, level of treatment in the ED (primary or secondary), and hospitalization, as well as by diagnosis groups. Results: During the study period, 11,454 visits were made. The total costs were over €3,380,000 ($2,837,758), with a median cost per visit was €260 ($217.90). Higher costs were associated with hospitalization and treatment in secondary care. The most common diagnoses were respiratory tract infections, counseling, other infections, GI symptoms, and other reasons. Conclusion: Seriously ill children incur the highest costs per visit in pediatric emergency care. Respiratory tract infections are common reasons for emergency care visits, and the reasons why children come to emergency care in Finland are similar to those in other countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number251
Number of pages7
JournalBmc Health Services Research
Volume24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Children
  • Costs
  • ED utilization
  • Resource use

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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