Commentary: How can emergency departments help end homelessness? A challenge to social emergency medicine
When a distinguishing feature of people living on the streets is the number of hospital identification bracelets—most obtained in emergency departments (EDs)—circling their wrists, it is clear that the ED is part of the problem and must be part of the solution to fixing homelessness. People who are homeless form a core emergency medicine population. Multiple studies spanning diverse settings have shown that ED patients have substantial rates of homelessness and housing instability. Frequent users of the ED have even higher rates of homelessness than other patients, although certainly the problem is not unique to frequent users.
This article is part of a special supplement: Inventing Social Emergency Medicine: A Consensus Conference to Establish the Intellectual Underpinnings of Social Emergency Medicine.
Doran KM. Commentary: How can emergency departments help end homelessness? A challenge to social emergency medicine. Ann Emerg Med. 2019;74(5):S41-S44. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annemergmed.2019.08.442