Hospital discharge data used as feedback in planning research and education for primary care.
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Hospital discharge data used as feedback in planning research and education for primary care.

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    • Alternative Title:
      Public Health Rep
    • Description:
      Are research and training programs in pediatrics, internal medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology (OB-GYN) comprehensive enough to give trainees proficiency in primary care? Controversy exists about which subject areas should be added to the training schema to make them more applicable in primary care. One approach to this controversy is to use the most frequent of serious patient problems that are outside these disciplines as feedback into the process of selecting areas for more comprehensive training. In this study, patients' serious problems were defined as those requiring hospitalization. Diagnoses from the National Hospital Discharge Survey were grouped into categories of morbidity by age and sex. The most frequent categories outside the three disciplines were identified. For pediatrics these problems were trauma, mental disorders, and unintended pregnancy; for internal medicine, trauma, mental and gynecologic disorders, and unintended pregnancy; for OB-GYN, trauma and mental, cardiovascular, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, and arthritic disorders. Since primary care is largely ambulatory care, the next step in the resolution of the controversy would be to define the competency level needed for the prevention, early recognition, and early management of these disorders in the ambulatory care setting. Once defined, competency levels can be examined among trainees in the three specialties, and areas where competency is found inadequate can be emphasized. Although hospitalization data are not the only logical criteria for choosing areas for emphasis, these feedback data offer a method of integrating patients' most frequent severe problems into the selection process.
    • Source:
      Public Health Rep. 98(5):457-466
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