A management information system for nurse/midwives.
The experiences of nurse/midwives with a simple management information system in the private sector are reported from four facilities in Nigeria. When such a system is being introduced, special attention should be given to strengthening the ability of health workers to record and collate data satisfactorily. (+info)
Provision of primary care by office-based rheumatologists: results from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys, 1991-1995.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the extent to which office-based rheumatologists provide primary care to patients without rheumatic diseases or provide principal care to patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). METHODS: The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey was used to determine national probability estimates of the nature and types of conditions treated by office-based rheumatologists in 1991-1995. At each of 1,074 patient visits, the rheumatologists recorded up to 3 diagnoses and 3 patient-reported reasons for the visit, as well as information on the treatments provided at the visit. RESULTS: In only 9.8% of new consultations and 11.9% of return visits was neither a rheumatic disease diagnosis nor a musculoskeletal complaint recorded, indicating that the rheumatologist was likely acting as a primary care provider at a minority of patient visits. Among continuing patients with RA, the patient's primary reason for the visit was something other than a musculoskeletal complaint in only 9.9% of visits, and any nonrheumatic complaint was recorded in 30.4% of visits, indicating that at only some visits was the rheumatologist acting as the principal caregiver. In addition, only 31.1% of visits included the provision of medication for a nonrheumatic condition. CONCLUSION: In 1991-1995, most visits to rheumatologists involved the provision of specialized or consultative care to patients with rheumatic diseases or musculoskeletal complaints, and few visits were made by patients without either indication. Provision of principal care by rheumatologists to patients with RA is not currently widespread. (+info)
Patient waiting times in a physician's office.
This observational study measured waiting times, appointment durations, and scheduling variables of a single family practice physician. Waiting time and appointment duration in four sequential groups of sessions were compared using analysis of variance; each group used different scheduling templates. Groups 1 and 2 used a 15-minute base interval; group 3 used a 20-minute base interval. Observations for group 4 were collected at a different health center using a 15-minute base interval. Scheduling variables were correlated with waiting time using correlation coefficients, and data were collected on 1783 appointments. The best waiting time (mean +/- SD) was 17.33 +/- 19.19 minutes. The mean appointment duration for this group was 17.99 +/- 7.97 minutes. The F statistic comparing the four groups of sessions for waiting times was 34.14 and for appointment duration was 37.37, both of which are significant (P < 0.001). The Spearman correlation coefficient for waiting time with queue was 0.2474 (P < 0.001). The Spearman correlation coefficients for mean waiting time and lateness of starting a session (0.4530), patients per hour (0.3461), and patients per session (0.3674) were all significant (P < 0.001). Both scheduling and patient flow affect patient waiting times. The best schedule would consist of shorter sessions that started on time and were extended to accommodate extra patients rather than adding in patients and crowding the schedule. In addition to reducing the actual waiting times, the perception of waiting can be managed to minimize patient dissatisfaction. (+info)
Cost of heart failure to the healthcare system.
From an economic, mortality, and functional standpoint, heart failure is clearly a disease that needs to be targeted. We can develop a model for heart failure to determine the impact that specific management strategies will have on the overall cost to the system, which by itself can tell us some interesting things because we're currently spending twice as much on transplantation as on digoxin therapy. We can then use this model to assess the impact of different strategies, such as greater use of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or digoxin therapy. (+info)
Developing quality measures for adolescent care: validity of adolescents' self-reported receipt of preventive services.
OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the feasibility of directly surveying adolescents about the content of preventive health services they have received and to assess the validity of adolescent self-reported recall. DATA SOURCES/SETTING: Audiotaped encounters, telephone interviews, and chart reviews with 14-21 year olds being seen for preventive care visits at 15 pediatric and family medicine private practices, teaching hospital clinics, and health centers. DESIGN: 537 adolescents presenting for well visits were approached, 400 (75 percent) consented, 374 (94 percent) were audiotaped, and 354 (89 percent) completed telephone interviews either two to four weeks or five to seven months after their visits. Audiotapes were coded for screening and counseling across 34 preventive service content areas. Intraobserver reliability (Cohen's kappa) ranged from 0.45 for talking about peers to 0.94 for discussing tobacco. The sensitivity and specificity of the adolescent self-reports were assessed using the audiotape coding as the gold standard. RESULTS: Almost all adolescents surveyed (94 percent) remembered having had a preventive care visit, 93 percent identified the site of care, and most (84 percent) identified the clinician they had seen. There was wide variation in the prevalence of screening, based on the tape coding. Adolescent self-report was moderately or highly sensitive and specific at two weeks and six months for 24 of 34 screening and counseling items, including having discussed: weight, diet, body image, exercise, seatbelts, bike helmet use, cigarettes/smoking, smokeless tobacco, alcohol, drugs, steroids, sex, sexual orientation, birth control, condoms, HIV, STDs, school, family, future plans, emotions, suicidality, and abuse. Self-report was least accurate for blood pressure/cholesterol screening, immunizations, or for having discussed fighting, violence, weapon carrying, sleep, dental care, friends, or over-the-counter drug use. CONCLUSION: Adolescents' self-report of the care they have received is a valid method of determining the content of preventive health service delivery. Although recall of screening and counseling is more accurate within two to four weeks after preventive care visits, adolescents can report accurately on the care they had received five to seven months after the preventive health care visits occurred. (+info)
The role of patients and providers in the timing of follow-up visits. Telephone Care Study Group.
OBJECTIVE: Although the decision about how frequently to see outpatients has a direct impact on a provider's workload and may impact health care costs, revisit intervals have rarely been a topic of investigation. To begin to understand what factors are correlated with this decision, we examined baseline data from a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Cooperative Study designed to evaluate telephone care. DESIGN: Observational study based on extensive patient data collected during enrollment into the randomized trial. Providers were required to recommend a revisit interval (e.g., "return visit in 3 months") for each patient before randomization, under the assumption that the patient would be receiving clinic visits as usual. POPULATION/SETTING: Five hundred seventy-one patients over age 55 cared for by one of the 30 providers working in three VA general medical clinics. Patients for whom immediate follow-up (+info)
Setting the revisit interval in primary care.
OBJECTIVE: Although longitudinal care constitutes the bulk of primary care, physicians receive little guidance on the fundamental question of how to time follow-up visits. We sought to identify important predictors of the revisit interval and to describe the variability in how physicians set these intervals when caring for patients with common medical conditions. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey of physicians performed at the end of office visits for consecutive patients with hypertension, angina, diabetes, or musculoskeletal pain. PARTICIPANTS/SETTING: One hundred sixty-four patients under the care of 11 primary care physicians in the Dartmouth Primary Care Cooperative Research Network. MEASUREMENTS: The main outcome measures were the variability in mean revisit intervals across physicians and the proportion of explained variance by potential determinants of revisit intervals. We assessed the relation between the revisit interval (dependent variable) and three groups of independent variables, patient characteristics (e.g., age, physician perception of patient health), identification of individual physician, and physician characterization of the visit (e. g., routine visit, visit requiring a change in management, or visit occurring on a "hectic" day), using multiple regression that accounted for the natural grouping of patients within physician. MAIN RESULTS: Revisit intervals ranged from 1 week to over 1 year. The most common intervals were 12 and 16 weeks. Physicians' perception of fair-poor health status and visits involving a change in management were most strongly related to shorter revisit intervals. In multivariate analyses, patient characteristics explained about 18% of the variance in revisit intervals, and adding identification of the individual provider doubled the explained variance to about 40%. Physician characterization of the visit increased explained variance to 57%. The average revisit interval adjusted for patient characteristics for each of the 11 physicians varied from 4 to 20 weeks. Although all physicians lengthened revisit intervals for routine visits and shortened them when changing management, the relative ranking of mean revisit intervals for each physician changed little for different visit characterizations-some physicians were consistently long and others were consistently short. CONCLUSION: Physicians vary widely in their recommendations for office revisits. Patient factors accounted for only a small part of this variation. Although physicians responded to visits in predictable ways, each physician appeared to have a unique set point for the length of the revisits interval. (+info)
Ambulatory blood pressure and left ventricular mass in normotensive patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease.
Higher left ventricular mass (LVM) has been found in early stages of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). The mechanisms involved in the increase of LVM are unknown. To investigate whether LVM in ADPKD may be influenced by abnormal diurnal BP variations, the 24-h ambulatory BP profile was analyzed in a group of young normotensive ADPKD patients. Ambulatory BP monitoring and two-dimensional echocardiography were performed in 26 young normotensive ADPKD with normal renal function and in 26 healthy control subjects. LVM index was higher in ADPKD patients than in controls (90.8+/-19.6 g/m2 versus 73.9+/-16.1 g/m2, P = 0.001). Average 24-h and daytime systolic, diastolic, and mean BP were similar in both groups. Nighttime diastolic and mean BP, but not systolic BP, were greater in ADPKD patients. The average and percent nocturnal decrease of systolic BP was lower in ADPKD patients than in control subjects (10.0 mm Hg [-3 to 24] versus 15.5 mm Hg [-4 to 31], P = 0.009, and 9.0% [-2 to 22] versus 14.2% [-2 to 25], P = 0.016, respectively). On the basis of their profile BP patterns, 54% of ADPKD subjects and 31% of controls were classified as nondippers (P = 0.092). There were no differences between dippers and nondippers in left ventricular wall thickness, chamber dimensions, and mass indexes. In ADPKD patients, simple regression analysis showed that LVM index was correlated with 24-h, daytime, and nighttime systolic BP. On multiple regression analysis, the 24-h systolic BP was the only variable linked to LVM index. It is concluded that young normotensive ADPKD patients have higher LVM that is closely related to the ambulatory systolic BP. The nocturnal fall in BP is attenuated in these patients, although it is not associated with the higher LVH that they present. (+info)