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Rev Neurol 29:667-669. Published in Spanish.
Fundació Jordi Gol i Gurina, Barcelona, España
INTRODUCTION: Ambulatory care groups (ACG) are a system of classification for patients in an ambulatory setting and in Primary Care (PC), based on the premise that by measuring the morbidity load of the population, it is possible to explain variations in the consumption of healthcare resources.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: In order to study the behaviour of the ACG in our PC, we made a prospective study of a sample of the patients of 13 doctors and nurses working in new PC centres in Barcelona province. Analysis of the behaviour of the ACG was based on four variables of use of resources: number of episodes per patient, number of visits per patient, cost per patient including diagnostic procedures, prescriptions made and the time taken by health workers, and the total cost of PC per patient which also included the cost of PC, emergencies, hospital admissions and consultations with specialists in Outpatient Departments or Health Centres.
RESULTS: It was confirmed that the coefficients of variation of the measurements were within acceptable limits, the worst performing ACG were identified and it was seen that the variability explained by dependent variables–apart from the total cost per patient–by the ACG, by multiple regression models, was fairly high.
CONCLUSION: The ACG may be a useful classification system for our PC.
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