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Ann Intern Med. 1976 May;84(5):594-601.

Practice habits in a group of eight internists.


A method was devised to offer a group of internists a system by which to analyze their practices, allowing them to identify areas where a change in practice habits might be beneficial. More than 3000 encounters between patients and internists in an eight-man group were analyzed for a number of variables. Significant differences existed between physicians as to the percentage of encounters that were physician-initiated rather than patient-initiated. Disposition of the encounters also varied significantly. The effect that the recycling of patients has on productivity, cost, and use of hospital facilities is discussed. In addition to geographic and specialty maldistribution, the maldistribution of physician time is a significant barrier to meeting the demands for medical care.

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