Preventable hospitalisations: geographic variation is more a measure of the health of the population than of GP supply
Michael Falster, from the Centre for Big Data Research in Health, UNSW tells us about his research which has won the HSRAANZ Best PhD Student Prize.
Geographic rates of preventable hospitalisations are used internationally as an indicator of accessibility and quality of primary care, yet the extent to which other factors characterise variation is unclear. Using linked questionnaire and administrative hospital data for 267,091 participants in the 45 and Up Study, this study found that GP supply explained only a small amount of geographic variation, while over 1/3 of variation was driven by the socio-demographic composition, health and behaviours of the population. This effect varied between conditions, with these results suggesting the most appropriate policy responses are targeted prevention and intervention strategies, particularly for chronic diseases.Read more →