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Scand J Prim Health Care. 2001 Jun;19(2):95-8.

The effect of an out-of-hours reform on attendance at casualty wards. The Danish example.

Author information

1
Research Unit and Department of General Practice, University of Aarhus, Denmark. pv@alm.au.dk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

A reorganisation of the out-of-hours general practice service in Denmark was launched in January 1992. The biggest changes were in a mandatory telephone triage staffed by GPs and the replacement of small rota systems with county-based health centres. We aimed to analyse the effect of this out-of-hours reform on the number of contacts with the casualty wards.

DESIGN:

A register-based ecologic time-trend study of the mean number of annual contacts per inhabitant from 1988 to 1997.

SETTING:

The County of Aarhus.

SUBJECTS:

All 630000 inhabitants in the county.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Mean number of annual contacts with casualty wards per inhabitant. Intercepts derived from two regression models.

RESULTS:

The mean number of contacts with casualty wards rose significantly during the whole period. Given this constant increase in contact rates, a regression model showed that the increase in the attendance rate with casualty wards after the reform was statistically insignificant.

CONCLUSIONS:

The decrease in the total number of contacts with the out-of-hours primary health care after the reform was not met by a corresponding increase in casualty ward contacts. A clear-cut significant increase in the use of casualty wards following the out-of-hours reform could not be demonstrated.

PMID:
11482421
DOI:
10.1080/028134301750235303
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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