Trends in Atrial Fibrillation Management—Results from a National Multi-Center Urgent Care Network Registry

Shalom Lebovitz, Menachem Estryk, Deena R. Zimmerman, Arthur Pollak, David Luria, Offer Amir, Yitschak Biton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a common diagnosis in patients presenting to urgent care centers (UCCs), yet there is scant research regarding treatment in these centers. While some of these patients are managed within UCCs, some are referred for further care in an emergency department (ED). Objectives: We aimed to identify the rate of patients referred to an ED and define predictors for this outcome. We analyzed the rates of AF diagnosis and hospital referral over the years. Finally, we described trends in patient anticoagulation (AC) medication use. Methods: This retrospective study included 5873 visits of patients over age 18 visiting the TEREM UCC network with a diagnosis of AF over 11 years. Multivariate analysis was used to identify predictors for ED referral. Results: In a multivariate model, predictors of referral to an ED included vascular disease (OR 1.88 (95% CI 1.43–2.45), p < 0.001), evening or night shifts (OR 1.31 (95% CI 1.11–1.55), p < 0.001; OR 1.68 (95% CI 1.32–2.15), p < 0.001; respectively), previously diagnosed AF (OR 0.31 (95% CI 0.26–0.37), p < 0.001), prior treatment with AC (OR 0.56 (95% CI 0.46–0.67), p < 0.001), beta blockers (OR 0.63 (95% CI 0.52–0.76), p < 0.001), and antiarrhythmic medication (OR 0.58 (95% CI 0.48–0.69), p < 0.001). Visits diagnosed with AF increased over the years (p = 0.030), while referrals to an ED decreased over the years (p = 0.050). The rate of novel oral anticoagulant prescriptions increased over the years. Conclusions: The rate of referral to an ED from a UCC over the years is declining but remains high. Referrals may be predicted using simple clinical variables. This knowledge may help to reduce the burden of hospitalizations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6704
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number21
StatePublished - 24 Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • UCC
  • atrial fibrillation
  • emergency department
  • urgent care center
  • urgent care clinic
  • walk-in clinic


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