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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Informatics
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health