(1/1342) Hospital restructuring and the changing nature of the physical therapist's role.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: This study was conducted to identify role behavior changes of acute care physical therapists and changes in the organizational and professional context of hospitals following restructuring. METHODS: A Delphi technique, which involved a panel of 100 randomly selected acute care physical therapy managers, was used as the research design for this study. Responses from rounds 1 and 2 were synthesized and organized into exhaustive and mutually exclusive categories for round 3. Data obtained from round 3 were used to develop a comprehensive perspective on the changes that have occurred. RESULTS: Changed role behaviors in patient care and professional interaction, including increased emphasis on evaluation, planning, teaching, supervising, and collaboration, appeared to be extensions of unchanged role behaviors. Reported changes in the structural and professional context of physical therapy services included using critical pathways to guide care, providing services system-wide, and using educational activities and meetings to maintain a sense of community. The importance of professionalism to physical therapists' work was identified and related to specific role behavior changes. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION: The changing role of physical therapists in acute care hospitals includes an increased emphasis on higher-level skills in patient care and professional interaction and the continuing importance of professionalism.  (+info)

(2/1342) A taxonomy of health networks and systems: bringing order out of chaos.

OBJECTIVE: To use existing theory and data for empirical development of a taxonomy that identifies clusters of organizations sharing common strategic/structural features. DATA SOURCES: Data from the 1994 and 1995 American Hospital Association Annual Surveys, which provide extensive data on hospital involvement in hospital-led health networks and systems. STUDY DESIGN: Theories of organization behavior and industrial organization economics were used to identify three strategic/structural dimensions: differentiation, which refers to the number of different products/services along a healthcare continuum; integration, which refers to mechanisms used to achieve unity of effort across organizational components; and centralization, which relates to the extent to which activities take place at centralized versus dispersed locations. These dimensions were applied to three components of the health service/product continuum: hospital services, physician arrangements, and provider-based insurance activities. DATA EXTRACTION METHODS: We identified 295 health systems and 274 health networks across the United States in 1994, and 297 health systems and 306 health networks in 1995 using AHA data. Empirical measures aggregated individual hospital data to the health network and system level. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We identified a reliable, internally valid, and stable four-cluster solution for health networks and a five-cluster solution for health systems. We found that differentiation and centralization were particularly important in distinguishing unique clusters of organizations. High differentiation typically occurred with low centralization, which suggests that a broader scope of activity is more difficult to centrally coordinate. Integration was also important, but we found that health networks and systems typically engaged in both ownership-based and contractual-based integration or they were not integrated at all. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, we were able to classify approximately 70 percent of hospital-led health networks and 90 percent of hospital-led health systems into well-defined organizational clusters. Given the widespread perception that organizational change in healthcare has been chaotic, our research suggests that important and meaningful similarities exist across many evolving organizations. The resulting taxonomy provides a new lexicon for researchers, policymakers, and healthcare executives for characterizing key strategic and structural features of evolving organizations. The taxonomy also provides a framework for future inquiry about the relationships between organizational strategy, structure, and performance, and for assessing policy issues, such as Medicare Provider Sponsored Organizations, antitrust, and insurance regulation.  (+info)

(3/1342) Organizational and environmental factors associated with nursing home participation in managed care.

OBJECTIVE: To develop and test a model, based on resource dependence theory, that identifies the organizational and environmental characteristics associated with nursing home participation in managed care. DATA SOURCES AND STUDY SETTING: Data for statistical analysis derived from a survey of Directors of Nursing in a sample of nursing homes in eight states (n = 308). These data were merged with data from the On-line Survey Certification and Reporting System, the Medicare Managed Care State/County Data File, and the 1995 Area Resource File. STUDY DESIGN: Since the dependent variable is dichotomous, the logistic procedure was used to fit the regression. The analysis was weighted using SUDAAN. FINDINGS: Participation in a provider network, higher proportions of resident care covered by Medicare, providing IV therapy, greater availability of RNs and physical therapists, and Medicare HMO market penetration are associated with a greater likelihood of having a managed care contract. CONCLUSION: As more Medicare recipients enroll in HMOs, nursing home involvement in managed care is likely to increase. Interorganizational linkages enhance the likelihood of managed care participation. Nursing homes interested in managed care should consider upgrading staffing and providing at least some subacute services.  (+info)

(4/1342) Restructuring the primary health care services and changing profile of family physicians in Turkey.

A new health-reform process has been initiated by Ministry of Health in Turkey. The aim of that reform is to improve the health status of the Turkish population and to provide health care to all citizens in an efficient and equitable manner. The restructuring of the current health system will allow more funds to be allocated to primary and preventive care and will create a managed market for secondary and tertiary care. In this article, we review the current and proposed primary care services models and the role of family physicians therein.  (+info)

(5/1342) A design model for computer-based guideline implementation based on information management services.

Clinical practice guidelines must be implemented effectively if they are to influence the behavior of clinicians. The authors describe a model for computer-based guideline implementation that identifies eight information management services needed to integrate guideline-based decision support with clinical workflow. Recommendation services determine appropriate activities in specific clinical circumstances. Documentation services involve data capture. Registration services integrate demographic and administrative data. Explanation services enhance the credibility of automated recommendations by providing supportive evidence and rating the quality of evidence. Calculation services measure time intervals, suggest medication dosages, and perform other computational tasks. Communication services employ standards for information transfer and provide data security. Effective presentation services facilitate understanding of complex data, clarify trends, and format written materials (including prescriptions) for patients. Aggregation services associate outcomes with specific guideline interventions. The authors provide examples of the eight services that make up the model from five evidence-based practice parameters developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  (+info)

(6/1342) Developing role of medical audit advisory groups.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the approaches to audit of different medical audit advisory groups (MAAGs) and to consider the implications for evaluation of their activities and their developing role in the light of new priorities for clinical audit. DESIGN: Qualitative study based on semistructured interviews. SETTING: 15 family health services authority (FHSA) districts in two English health regions. SUBJECTS: MAAG chairpersons and support staff and FHSA general managers and medical advisors in each district, totalling 68 subjects. MAIN MEASURES: Structures and activities of MAAGs; perceptions of the MAAG's role and its achievements compared with the initial brief in a health circular in 1990. RESULTS: The approaches of different MAAGs varied considerably: some concentrated on promoting audit and others were involved in a wider range of development activities. MAAGs assessed their progress in various different ways. The importance of collaborative working was recognised, but few interface audit projects had been undertaken. MAAGs had little contact with other quality assurance activities in the FHSA, and FHSA involvement in the MAAG strategy was variable, although MAAGs were taking steps to improve communication with the FHSA. CONCLUSIONS: Major differences exist in the approaches taken by MAAGs and the roles they fulfil, which will make evaluation of their effectiveness a complex task. Already MAAGs are responding to changing expectations about audit and pressure for closer links with management.  (+info)

(7/1342) The cost of coverage: rural health insurance in China.

China has undergone great economic and social change since 1978 with far reaching implications for the health care system and ultimately for the health status of the population. The Chinese Medical Reform of the 1980s made cost recovery a primary objective. The urban population is mostly protected by generous government health insurance. A high share government budget is allocated to urban health care. Rural cooperative health insurance reached a peak in the mid-1970s when 90% of the rural population were covered. In the 1980s rural cooperative health insurance collapsed and present coverage is less than 8%. The decline has been accompanied by reports of growing equity problems in the financing of and access to health care. This article is the first in a four-year study of the impact on equity of the changes in Chinese health care financing. The article examines the relationship between rural cooperative health insurance as the explanatory variable and health care expenditure, curative vs. preventive expenditure and tertiary curative care expenditure as dependent variables using a natural experimental design with a 'twin' county as a control. The findings support the hypothesis that cooperative health insurance will induce higher growth of health care expenditure. The findings also support the hypothesis that cooperative health insurance will lead to a shift from preventive medicine to curative medicine and to a higher level of tertiary curative care expenditure. The empirical evidence from the Chinese counties is contradicting World Bank health financing policies.  (+info)

(8/1342) The privatization of health care in three Latin American social security systems.

Most Latin American social security institutes are direct providers of medical care services to their beneficiaries. As many of the institutes have developed serious financial problems over the course of the last decade and a half, they have come under increasing attack for (a) exacerbating inequalities in access to and use of health care, (b) further heightening the geographic overconcentration of services, (c) focusing a disproportionate amount of resources on high technology, curative care to the near total exclusion of primary health care, and (d) being administratively top heavy and, more generally, inefficient. In the past few years, many Latin American countries have begun searching for methods to ameliorate these problems. This paper analyzes three recent efforts, all of which involve some degree of privatization: (1) El Salvador's partial privatization of specialty physician outpatient consultations, (2) Peru's minor surgery and its decentralized ambulatory care programme, and (3) Nicaragua's "administrative services only' approach wherein social security beneficiaries choose to join a certified public or private provider organization for one year, and, on behalf of the individual, social security pays the organization a fixed, annual, per capita fee to provide all health care for the enrollee. The paper also identifies political and technical considerations, as well as health care market characteristics that have shaped these efforts and that condition their likelihood of success, including: the size, composition, level of capacity utilization, degree of organization and geographic distribution of private sector resources; relative prices in the private vis-a-vis the public sector; and the size and nature of the private health insurance market. Other Latin American countries would do well to examine these factors and characteristics before embarking on efforts to reform their own social security health care delivery systems.  (+info)