Seeing the same GP associated with fewer admissions

Older patients who see the same general practitioner over time experience fewer avoidable admissions to hospital, new research shows. | BMJ | OnMedica

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The Health Foundation research, published in The BMJ, shows that if patients saw their most frequently seen GP two more times out of every 10, this was associated with 6% fewer admissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions such as asthma, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia.

The researchers examined whether continuity of care with a general practitioner is associated with hospital admissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions for older patients. Data was analysed from over 230,000 anonymised patient records for older people aged 62-82 years.

The research found there were fewer hospital admissions for certain conditions when patients saw the same GP more consistently. The authors stress this is an observational study so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect. However, they conclude, “strategies to improve the continuity of care in general practice may reduce secondary care costs, particularly for the heaviest users of healthcare.”

Full reference: Barker Isaac, Steventon Adam, Deeny Sarah R. Association between continuity of care in general practice and hospital admissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions: cross sectional study of routinely collected, person level data

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