It’s probably PI to call them this, but they are known as frequent flyers. An editorial in The Boston Globe this morning lauds a new program — which calls them “Frequent Utilizers ” — aimed at helping hospital staff help patients who show up at the ED again and again.
Researchers, police officers, and doctors have long understood the challenge of so-called frequent utilizers — mentally ill or addicted people who cycle in and out of emergency rooms and jailhouses at enormous cost, with little sign of improvement...
There are records here and records there. But you’d have to look at them in combination — two ambulance calls for overdoses, a police call for an attempted suicide in one town and a second call, in a neighboring town, when she was the victim of an assault — to get the full picture.
That’s the idea behind a promising new pilot program bringing together law enforcement, corrections officials, and health care providers in three jurisdictions: Long Beach, Calif., Johnson County, Iowa, and Middlesex County, a sprawling region that includes urban centers like Cambridge and Lowell and smaller towns like Concord and Groton.