Validity of repeating patient origin studies for rural hospitals.
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Validity of repeating patient origin studies for rural hospitals.

  • 1976 Jan-Feb

  • Source: Public Health Rep. 91(1):62-66
Filetype[PDF-1.52 MB]

  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      Public Health Rep
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    • Description:
      Recent research in southwest Idaho and southeast Oregon indicates that hospital service areas in this rural locality have not changed over time. The 12-county study area includes approximately 42,000 square miles inhabited by only 265,491 people. The focal point of hospital care in this region is Boise, Idaho, with adjacent smaller centers. Data used in the paper came from two sources-a patient-origin study completed in 1968 and a health interview survey completed in 1973. In both studies information was collected on patients' places of residence and where they went to receive hospital care. Because of the 6-year timespan between the studies, it was suspected that there may have been changes in the hospitals' service areas. An examination of some variables that customarily influence hospital service areas, such as number of physicians, number of hospital beds, and size of population, revealed that, despite sizable changes in all these variables, no appreciable changes were noted in the spatial patterns of the hospitals' service areas. This result was unexpected, but it may indicate to others engaged in planning for rural hospitals that updating patient origin studies in their areas may produce only marginal benefits.
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