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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Primary care professionals providing non-urgent care in hospital emergency departments

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, February 2018
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (87th percentile)
  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (52nd percentile)

Mentioned by

24 tweeters


44 Dimensions

Readers on

402 Mendeley
Primary care professionals providing non-urgent care in hospital emergency departments
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, February 2018
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd002097.pub4
Pubmed ID

Daniela Gonçalves-Bradley, Jaspreet K Khangura, Gerd Flodgren, Rafael Perera, Brian H Rowe, Sasha Shepperd


In many countries emergency departments (EDs) are facing an increase in demand for services, long waits, and severe crowding. One response to mitigate overcrowding has been to provide primary care services alongside or within hospital EDs for patients with non-urgent problems. However, it is unknown how this impacts the quality of patient care and the utilisation of hospital resources, or if it is cost-effective. This is the first update of the original Cochrane Review published in 2012. To assess the effects of locating primary care professionals in hospital EDs to provide care for patients with non-urgent health problems, compared with care provided by regularly scheduled emergency physicians (EPs). We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (the Cochrane Library; 2017, Issue 4), MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and King's Fund, from inception until 10 May 2017. We searched ClinicalTrials.gov and the WHO ICTRP for registered clinical trials, and screened reference lists of included papers and relevant systematic reviews. Randomised trials, non-randomised trials, controlled before-after studies, and interrupted time series studies that evaluated the effectiveness of introducing primary care professionals to hospital EDs attending to patients with non-urgent conditions, as compared to the care provided by regularly scheduled EPs.  DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We used standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. We identified four trials (one randomised trial and three non-randomised trials), one of which is newly identified in this update, involving a total of 11,463 patients, 16 general practitioners (GPs), 9 emergency nurse practitioners (NPs), and 69 EPs. These studies evaluated the effects of introducing GPs or emergency NPs to provide care to patients with non-urgent problems in the ED, as compared to EPs for outcomes such as resource use. The studies were conducted in Ireland, the UK, and Australia, and had an overall high or unclear risk of bias. The outcomes investigated were similar across studies, and there was considerable variation in the triage system used, the level of expertise and experience of the medical practitioners, and type of hospital (urban teaching, suburban community hospital). Main sources of funding were national or regional health authorities and a medical research funding body.There was high heterogeneity across studies, which precluded pooling data. It is uncertain whether the intervention reduces time from arrival to clinical assessment and treatment or total length of ED stay (1 study; 260 participants), admissions to hospital, diagnostic tests, treatments given, or consultations or referrals to hospital-based specialist (3 studies; 11,203 participants), as well as costs (2 studies; 9325 participants), as we assessed the evidence as being of very low-certainty for all outcomes.No data were reported on adverse events (such as ED returns and mortality). We assessed the evidence from the four included studies as of very low-certainty overall, as the results are inconsistent and safety has not been examined. The evidence is insufficient to draw conclusions for practice or policy regarding the effectiveness and safety of care provided to non-urgent patients by GPs and NPs versus EPs in the ED to mitigate problems of overcrowding, wait times, and patient flow.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 24 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 402 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 402 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 75 19%
Researcher 39 10%
Student > Bachelor 37 9%
Student > Ph. D. Student 29 7%
Other 23 6%
Other 75 19%
Unknown 124 31%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 93 23%
Nursing and Health Professions 84 21%
Social Sciences 15 4%
Psychology 15 4%
Unspecified 14 3%
Other 48 12%
Unknown 133 33%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 14. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 03 January 2020.
All research outputs
of 22,883,326 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,330 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 445,179 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 214 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 22,883,326 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 90th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,330 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 30.5. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 61% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 445,179 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 87% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 214 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 52% of its contemporaries.