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Publication Detail
Understanding patient flow within community healthcare
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Palmer R, Utley M
  • Presented date:
  • Presented at:
    Health Service Research UK 2017
In recent decades, community services have been at the forefront of healthcare policy around the world, notably within the NHS Five Year Forward Plan. A stand out challenge for this sector is how services may be organised to provide co-ordinated care given their physical distribution, patients using multiple services, increased volume of referrals and differing patient needs. With a wealth of data available, accessible analysis and collaborative research are key in addressing this challenge. We have worked alongside the North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) to understand the dynamics of community referrals through novel visualisations of referral data. These methods help researchers and service managers to investigate questions that are otherwise difficult to answer from raw data. The aims of this work were to: understand this complex system, explore concurrent uses of multiple services, and identify common patterns of referrals. Each map focuses on a different aspect of community referrals. Applying these methods to NELFT services, we helped inform their thinking towards the design of a single point of access (SPA) - a service for streamlining referral processes in NELFT community services. We present a selection of these maps here.
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