Novel policing techniques decrease gun-violence and the cost to the healthcare system

Justin C. Frisby, Tae Won B. Kim, Emily M. Schultz, Adeshina Adeyemo, Karina W. Lo, Joshua P. Hazelton, Lawrence S. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective was to investigate the effects of novel policing techniques on hospital-observed incidence, healthcare utilization, mortality and costs associated with gun violence, from the perspective of a level-1 trauma center. An eight-year retrospective review evaluating the clinical and financial effects of gunshot wound (GSW) encounters between January 1st, 2010 and December 31st, 2017. Individuals who presented to the emergency department (Level-1 trauma center in Camden, NJ) between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2017 with GSW (995 encounters) were included; however, patients with incomplete financial or medical record data were excluded (55 encounters). Patients were subdivided into two cohorts: before and after changes in policing tactics (May 1st, 2013). 940 total firearm-related encounters were included in the study. Following the policing changes, the hospital-observed quarterly incidence of GSW encounters decreased by 22% post-policing changes, 44.3 to 34.6 (p = 0.038). Average quarterly days spent in-house for GSW treatment decreased 220.7 to 151.3 (31%) days. Hospital observed mortality increased from 13.5% of presentations to 17.3% of presentations (p = 0.106). Total cost savings associated with the policing change was roughly $254,000 per quarter (p = 0.023). In areas susceptible to high rates of gun violence, similar novel policing tactics could significantly decrease hospital-observed incidence, costs and healthcare utilization demanded by firearm-related injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100995
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Volume16
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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