A method for analyzing resource use in ambulatory care settings

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The major objective of this research is to develop a methodological framework to help analyze the use of resources in ambulatory care environments. Emphasis is placed on trying to understand reasons for variation in treatment patterns. Important methodological considerations include: 1) the selection of a set of medical problems appropriate for evaluating the interaction effects of the variables being considered; 2) the development of problem-specific computerized routines for defining episodes of care based on patient visit information; and 3) the selection of appropriate measures of utilization. The Frontier Nursing Service (FNS) was used as a study setting. FNS is a primary health care service and training center located in Leslie County in eastern Kentucky, an area that covers 1, 000 square miles with a population of approximately 15, 000. The analysis indicates that for common primary care problems, the level of provider training as well as accessibility of services signficantly influence patterns of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1024-1044
Number of pages21
JournalMedical care
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1977


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