Health United States 2020-2021

Emergency department or emergency room visit

Several approaches to defining emergency department or emergency room visits are used in Health, United States.


National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)

Starting with the 1997 NHIS, respondents to the Sample Adult questionnaire, Sample Child questionnaire (a knowledgeable adult, usually a parent), and Family Core questionnaire are asked about the number of visits to hospital emergency rooms during the past 12 months, including visits that resulted in hospitalization. Respondents are asked, “During the past 12 months, how many times have [you/person/child] gone to a hospital emergency room about [your/his/her] health? (This includes emergency room visits that resulted in a hospital admission.)”


National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey

A hospital emergency department visit is a direct personal exchange between a patient and either a physician or a health care provider working under the physician’s supervision, for the purpose of seeking care and receiving personal health services. (Also see Sources and Definitions, Emergency department; Injury-related visit.)