Impact of a patient education intervention on appropriate utilization of clinic services.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Patient education interventions have been identified as a means of decreasing the utilization of ambulatory services; however, research on the impact of self-care initiatives should also assess changes in the appropriateness of patient visits. METHODS: New patients to the Family Practice Clinic at a university medical center were randomized into control and experimental groups. Experimental patients received the Family Practice Clinic Patient Medical Advisor Booklet and an educational presentation. Controls received the booklet without the educational intervention. RESULTS: Over the subsequent year, there were no significant differences in the total number of visits or telephone calls to the Family Practice Clinic by either group. The total number of visits to other medical center clinics and the emergency department was also similar. The experimental group, however, showed a statistically higher percentage of appropriate Family Practice Clinic visits, and their telephone calls to the clinic for advice tended to be more appropriate. Finally, experimental group patients had a significantly higher percentage of appropriate visits to the emergency department than did control group patients. CONCLUSIONS: Although this educational intervention did not change the total number of patient visits or telephone calls, it did have an impact on the appropriateness of patient utilization of health care services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-418
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of the American Board of Family Practice / American Board of Family Practice
Volume4
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1991

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Patient Education
Family Practice
Telephone
Pamphlets
Hospital Emergency Service
Control Groups
Ambulatory Care
Self Care
Health Services
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

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title = "Impact of a patient education intervention on appropriate utilization of clinic services.",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: Patient education interventions have been identified as a means of decreasing the utilization of ambulatory services; however, research on the impact of self-care initiatives should also assess changes in the appropriateness of patient visits. METHODS: New patients to the Family Practice Clinic at a university medical center were randomized into control and experimental groups. Experimental patients received the Family Practice Clinic Patient Medical Advisor Booklet and an educational presentation. Controls received the booklet without the educational intervention. RESULTS: Over the subsequent year, there were no significant differences in the total number of visits or telephone calls to the Family Practice Clinic by either group. The total number of visits to other medical center clinics and the emergency department was also similar. The experimental group, however, showed a statistically higher percentage of appropriate Family Practice Clinic visits, and their telephone calls to the clinic for advice tended to be more appropriate. Finally, experimental group patients had a significantly higher percentage of appropriate visits to the emergency department than did control group patients. CONCLUSIONS: Although this educational intervention did not change the total number of patient visits or telephone calls, it did have an impact on the appropriateness of patient utilization of health care services.",
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