Insight into Health Care Services: A Characterization of Emergency Room Visits and Economic Hazards in the United States

Hanadi Hamadi, Emma Apatu, Osayande Osagiede, Aaron Spaulding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explores the impact of economic hazard areas on hospital-based emergency departments to determine whether economically hazardous environments, characterized by the change of population, income per capita, and unemployment rate, experience a higher number of emergency room visits than areas of lower rated economic hazard risk in the United States.Method A cross-sectional design was used of a nationally constructed data set of hospital-based emergency departments of over 6,000 hospitals in the United States. We identified our quality outcome measure as the emergency room visits rate within a hospital service area. We created the variable by dividing the number of emergency room visits by the population of the hospital services area in which the emergency room was located.Results Results indicate that there is a difference in the incident rate ratio of emergency room visits between environments considered to be experiencing greater amounts of hazard, compared to lower amounts of hazard.Conclusion Hospital administrators and health policy-makers need to work in conjunction to focus efforts on public safety as a key objective in the delivery of emergency medical care. One crucial effort that hospital administrators need to focus on is improving emergency room capacity and efficiency as part of the disaster preparedness plan (Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2019;13:470-475)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-475
Number of pages6
JournalDisaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Poisson regression
  • economic hazard
  • emergency department
  • emergency room visits
  • hospital capacity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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