Gynecologists in the VA

Do They Enhance Availability of Sex-Specific Services and Policies in the Emergency Department?

Published in: Medical Care, v. 53, no. 4, suppl. 1, Apr. 2015, p. S76-S80

Posted on on March 24, 2015

by Kristen E. Gray, Jodie G. Katon, Lisa S. Callegari, Kristina M. Cordasco, Laurie C. Zephyrin

Read More

Access further information on this document at Medical Care

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

OBJECTIVES: To examine the association between on-site gynecology and availability of sex-specific services and policies in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) emergency departments (EDs). RESEARCH DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis using data from a VA national inventory of emergency services for women and gynecologist staffing information from the VA Office of Productivity, Efficiency, and Staffing. SUBJECTS: ED directors from all VA medical centers (N=120). MEASURES: We used logistic regression to evaluate the association between on-site gynecologist full-time equivalents (FTEs, <0.5 and ≥0.5), and availability of sex-specific ED services, such as consult and follow-up within VA by a gynecologist, emergency contraception, rho (D) immunoglobulin, pelvic ultrasound, and transfer policies for obstetric and gynecologic emergencies. All analyses were adjusted for number of ED encounters by women. RESULTS: Greater gynecologist FTE (≥0.5 vs. <0.5) was associated with increased odds of on-site availability of a gynecology consultation in the ED [odds ratio (OR)=10.9; 95% confidence interval (CI): 3.2, 36.6] and gynecologist follow-up within VA after an ED encounter (OR=2.5; 95% CI: 1.0, 6.2). A positive trend was seen in availability of rho (D) immunoglobulin (OR=1.4; 95% CI: 0.6, 3.5) and presence of transfer policies for obstetric (OR=1.7; 95% CI: 0.7, 4.5) and gynecologic emergencies (OR=1.6; 95% CI: 0.6, 4.2). Half of the facilities with <0.5 FTE did not have transfer policies in place or under development. CONCLUSIONS: On-site gynecologist FTE is associated with improved availability of sex-specific care in EDs. Development of transfer processes for obstetric and gynecologic emergencies in settings with limited on-site gynecology is needed.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.