Effect of a social services intervention among 911 repeat users. Academic Article uri icon


  • To determine whether emergency medical services (EMS) 911 frequent users would benefit from social services intervention.The design was a descriptive prospective subject evaluation. All nonhomeless frequent EMS users (>3x in 1 month) were identified monthly from December 2 to May 3 and contacted by 2 social workers. Information extracted from their contact with the subjects included demographics, ability to enter a social services intervention, and reason for transport.Eighty-four patients were eligible for inclusion in the study. Seventy-four patients were unable to enter a social services intervention for the following reasons: not home (2x) (26%), not at address (19%), refused (13%), unable to complete Mini-Mental Status Exam (10%), deceased (6%), hospitalized (5%), safety issues (4%), and others (10%). The reasons for frequent EMS use were cardiac (24%), asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (25%), seizures (14%), dialysis problems, alcohol problems, and diabetes-related problems (<10% each).Among all patients, the primary reasons for transport were cardiac, asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and seizures. Only 12% of patients contacted could enter a social services intervention. On the basis of the small cohort of patients that were able to enter a social services interventions, more targeted interventions are warranted.

publication date

  • July 2005