Emergency rooms have long cared for so-called “ER super-utilizers,” patients that repeatedly come in for their ailments, or in some cases, for a warm bed to sleep in. Here in Chicago, the University of Illinois Hospital took a novel approach to caring for those chronic visitors by offering them housing. That’s because half of the top 100 super-utilizers were homeless.
The results have been positive. The newly housed patients are using the ER much less frequently and report that their health has improved, and the emergency department is saving money and time.
Morning Shift talks to WBEZ reporter Mile Bryan about this story, which he has been following for going on two years.