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Are Irish adult general practice consultation rates as low as official records suggest? A cross sectional study at six general practices

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-02-18, 15:55 authored by W. Behan, D Molony, C. Beame, Walter Cullen
Accurate data on primary care activity is key to health services planning and reconfiguration. Official data estimate general practice adult consultation rates to be 3.2 visits annually, based on patient self reports. We aim to estimate the consultation rate using practice based data and compare this to official estimates. We interrogated six general practicesâ information systems and estimated consultation rates based on practice, telephone, domiciliary and out of hours consultations by patients aged 18 years or older. The study population (20,706 patients) was representative of the national population in terms of age and GMS status. The mean consultation rate was 5.17, though this was higher among GMS-eligible patients and among older age groups. Estimates of consultation rates derived from practice based data are likely to be higher than that derived from other approaches. Using multiple sources of data will enhance accuracy of workload estimates and this will benefit service planning.

History

Publication

Irish Medical Journal;106 (10), pp. 297-9

Publisher

Irish Medical Organization

Note

peer-reviewed

Language

English

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