gms | German Medical Science

German Congress of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (DKOU 2019)

22. - 25.10.2019, Berlin

Emergency room as primary point of access in the German healthcare system

Meeting Abstract

  • presenting/speaker Dominik Pförringer - Klinik und Poliklinik für Unfallchirurgie, Rechts der Isar, TU München, München, Germany
  • Patrick Pflüger - Klinik und Poliklinik für Unfallchirurgie, Rechts der Isar, TU München, München, Germany
  • Günther Edenharter - Klinik für Anästhesiologie der TU München, München, Germany

Deutscher Kongress für Orthopädie und Unfallchirurgie (DKOU 2019). Berlin, 22.-25.10.2019. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2019. DocAB33-1047

doi: 10.3205/19dkou209, urn:nbn:de:0183-19dkou2093

Published: October 22, 2019

© 2019 Pförringer et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. See license information at



Objectives: This study describes design, development and conduction of a patient survey regarding the motivation for the entrance to the medical system via the ER in Germany. Evaluation in regard to socioeconomic and medical reasons was taken into account. Study outcomes aim to teach physicians as well as operators how to influence resource management in the healthcare system by meaningful information of patients.

Methods: Over the course of 210 hours in the ER, a total of 235 patients in the year 2015 were interviewed in two hospitals. Focus was set on standard cases to allow for facilitated comparability. Data was collected via personal anonymous interviews. Heavily injured patients were excluded from the study.

Results: A clear result pattern was observed in regard to age and gender of participants, reflecting the average ER patient. The main reasons for patients entering the ER were immediate help (45.9%) and treatment by a specialist (35.4%). Furthermore, the location/good accessibility (47.9%) and prior positive experience with the emergency department (20.7%) were decisive reasons for choosing the hospital over the outpatient sector.

Conclusion: The results show no cultural influence on choice of medical treatment. However younger patients tend to more often access the ER instead of an outpatient clinic or doctor in private practice. The need for better information of patients becomes apparent. Further research can take more hospitals as well as a broader set of patients into account.