These data were collected for 2000-2001 and 2002-2003 observation periods. Approximately 94% of all physician encounters
in the province are included in this database. A small number of physicians are salaried employees and hence do not directly bill OHIP for patient encounters. Records of all emergency department visits were also submitted to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) as Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical part of the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS), for which close to 100% of emergency department claims in the province are included. The data were accessed at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) as part of a comprehensive research agreement with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC). The study setting of Ontario is Canada’s most populous province and the second largest province in terms of geographic area. The study population was restricted to individuals between the ages of 20 and 79 years to avoid proxy responses that could be assigned to children and older seniors. The cycles 2.1 collection period Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical was January 2003 through December Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical 2003 and cycle 3.1 was January 2005 through December 2005. Outcome Variables The number of emergency department visits during the 365 day interval following the interview
date were tallied for fiscal years 2003 through 2006 for each individual respondent of CCHS cycle 2.1 and 3.1, and counted using the NACRS database. The scrambled Ontario health card number was used as a unique key to link
individual level medical, socio-demographic, psychological and behavioral data Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical from the CCHS 2.1 and 3.1 to emergency department visit data. We defined a potentially avoidable emergency department visit as one with a Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS) score of 4 or 5 (less Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical urgent), where the patient was not admitted to the hospital following observation by the physician. We defined an unavoidable emergency department visit, as one with a CTAS score of 1, 2 or 3 (urgent) and no diagnostic code indicating an injury. We assume these emergency department visits are unlikely treatable in a primary care environment. We excluded emergency department visits where the patient left without being seen and excluded transfers (i.e., kept the first emergency department visit when there was a transfer) and pregnant women. Outcome Cell Metabolism variables for each participant are the number of less urgent and the number of urgent emergency department visits. In regression models, PF-02341066 price participants with no emergency department visits were included with zero visits for both less urgent and urgent emergency department visits. Assessment of Comorbidity We used the John Hopkins University Ambulatory Care Groups Case Mix Adjustment System (version 7) to summarize the degree of comorbidity experienced by Ontarians during the two year period prior to the interview date.