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Categorization, Designation, and Regionalization of Emergency Care: Definitions, a Conceptual Framework, and Future Challenges

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This article reflects the proceedings of a breakout session, “Beyond ED Categorization—Matching Networks to Patient Needs,” at the 2010 Academic Emergency Medicine consensus conference, “Beyond Regionalization: Integrated Networks of Emergency Care.” It is based on concepts and areas of priority identified and developed by the authors and participants at the conference. The paper first describes definitions fundamental to understanding the categorization, designation, and regionalization of emergency care and then considers a conceptual framework for this process. It also provides a justification for a categorization system being integrated into a regionalized emergency care system. Finally, it discusses potential challenges and barriers to the adoption of a categorization and designation system for emergency care and the opportunities for researchers to study the many issues associated with the implementation of such a system.

ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:1306–1311 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2010


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