Interorganizational relationships among HIV/AIDS service organizations in Baltimore: a network analysis.
A wide variety of organizations has become involved in providing medical and social services to people living with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). Although there is much interest among policymakers, service providers, and clients in coordination among HIV/AIDS service organizations, few studies have used network analytic tools to examine existing systems of HIV-related care. In an effort to fill this gap, this study used network analysis methods to describe several aspects of the interorganizational relationships among 30 HIV/AIDS service agencies in Baltimore, Maryland. Client referrals to other organizations, client referrals from other organizations, exchange of information about shared clients, formal written linkage agreements for client referrals, and joint programs were each examined as a distinct type of network tie, with each the basis of a separate network among these 30 organizations. All of the networks except the one based on joint programs were relatively well connected, with most organizations either directly or indirectly linked. Most of the interorganizational collaboration occurred on a rather ad hoc basis for the purposes of meeting the more immediate needs presented by clients. Highly structured coordination involving substantial investment of resources and ongoing interagency activities appeared to be less common. The findings from this study also suggest that the providers in Baltimore tend to work directly with others as client needs arise rather than negotiating through "clearinghouse" types of organizations. Of the 30 HIV/AIDS service organizations, 5 were highly central in at least four of the five different types of networks. These five organizations--each having a critical role in the continuum of care--may be considered the most central core of the HIV/AIDS service delivery network in Baltimore. These organizations tend to be those that have been created specifically to provide HIV-related services or that specialize in HIV/AIDS care. This research can help policymakers understand how an HIV-related service delivery network may function and delineate key features of a network. In all communities, this type of assessment is critical to designing interventions to promote collaboration that are feasible within the context of existing interorganizational relationships. This type of data also has implications for informing activities to build the capacity of HIV/AIDS service organizations. (+info)
Local health department perspectives on linkages among birthing hospitals.
OBJECTIVES: To describe perinatal linkages among hospitals, changes in their numbers and their impact on relationships among high-risk providers in local communities. STUDY DESIGN: Data were obtained about the organization of perinatal services in 1996-1999 from a cross-sectional study evaluating fetal and infant mortality review (FIMR) programs nationwide. Geographic areas were sampled based on region, population density, and the presence of a FIMR. A local health department representative was interviewed in 76% (N=193) of eligible communities; 188 provided data about hospitals. RESULTS: Linkages among all hospitals were reported in 143 communities and with a subspecialty hospital in 122. All but 12 communities had a maternity hospital, and changes in the number of hospitals occurred in 49 communities. Decreases in the number of Level II hospitals were related to changes in relationships among providers of high-risk care for mothers and newborns; they were associated with changing relationships only for mothers in Level I hospitals. These relations were noted only where established provider relationships existed. CONCLUSIONS: Decreases in the number of maternity hospitals affect provider relationships in communities, but only where there are established linkages among hospitals. (+info)
Validation of the Provincial Transfer Authorization Centre database: a comprehensive database containing records of all inter-facility patient transfers in the province of Ontario.
BACKGROUND: The Provincial Transfer Authorization Centre (PTAC) was established as a part of the emergency response in Ontario, Canada to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003. Prior to 2003, data relating to inter-facility patient transfers were not collected in a systematic manner. Then, in an emergency setting, a comprehensive database with a complex data collection process was established. For the first time in Ontario, population-based data for patient movement between healthcare facilities for a population of twelve million are available. The PTAC database stores all patient transfer data in a large database. There are few population-based patient transfer databases and the PTAC database is believed to be the largest example to house this novel dataset. A patient transfer database has also never been validated. This paper presents the validation of the PTAC database. METHODS: A random sample of 100 patient inter-facility transfer records was compared to the corresponding institutional patient records from the sending healthcare facilities. Measures of agreement, including sensitivity, were calculated for the 12 common data variables. RESULTS: Of the 100 randomly selected patient transfer records, 95 (95%) of the corresponding institutional patient records were located. Data variables in the categories patient demographics, facility identification and timing of transfer and reason and urgency of transfer had strong agreement levels. The 10 most commonly used data variables had accuracy rates that ranged from 85.3% to 100% and error rates ranging from 0 to 12.6%. These same variables had sensitivity values ranging from 0.87 to 1.0. CONCLUSION: The very high level of agreement between institutional patient records and the PTAC data for fields compared in this study supports the validity of the PTAC database. For the first time, a population-based patient transfer database has been established. Although it was created during an emergency situation and data collection is dependent on front-line medical workers, the PTAC data has achieved a high level of validity, perhaps even higher than many purpose built databases created during non-emergency settings. (+info)
Psychiatric disorders among detained youths: a comparison of youths processed in juvenile court and adult criminal court.