The Impact of Availability on Primary Care Appointments in Rural Appalachia: An AppNET PBRN Study

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Continuity of Care has long been known to be of critical importance in primary care and is a major component in the Patient Centered Medical Home. With the increasing importance of scheduling availability and Patient Centered Medical Home access requirements, it is important to determine to what degree patients are able to schedule appointments with Primary Care Providers (PCPs) - Family Physicians and Nurse Practioners - and what moveable barriers restrict access. Objectives: 1. Determine the frequency appointments are initially scheduled with Primary Care Provider. 2. Determine any systematic difference for patients unable to schedule with identified Primary Care Provider. 3. Use the findings of the study to plan a future intervention to increase access to PCPs. Human Subjects Review: Database analysis only, not considered human subjects research. Design: Clinic Electronic Health Record (EHR) review. Setting: appointments made in four rural South-Central Appalachian primary care clinics. Patients or Other Participants: all appointments recorded in clinic EHR databases for 2010 and 2011. Intervention/Instrument: database analysis from eClinical works, AllScripts, and Centricity EHRs. Outcome Measures: Summary assessment of Primary Care Provider accessibility. Anticipated Results: 1. It is expected that the frequency of appointments initially scheduled with PCP will be under 60% based upon preliminary data from one clinic. 2. It is anticipated that patients may have been unable to schedule with a PCP because appointments were not available or because there was no PCP identified. 3. Identification of systematic barriers to Primary Care Provider Access in order to improve same day appointment availability. Conclusions- An accurate picture of ability to schedule appointments with Primary Care Providers would be useful in ensuring continuity of care and success of a Patient Centered Medical Home.


New Orleans, LA

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