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Development, implementation, and pilot study of a sentinel network ("The Watchtowers") for monitoring emergency primary health care activity in Norway.

Hansen EH, Hunskaar S - BMC Health Serv Res (2008)

Bottom Line: There was little data missing, and during the last three months of 2006 a total of 23,346 contacts were registered.We have been able to establish a sentinel network with a fair degree of representativeness for Norwegian out-of-hours districts and municipalities.Such data are useful for both research and system improvements.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: National Centre for Emergency Primary Health Care, Kalfarveien 31, NO-5018 Bergen, Norway. elisabeth.holm-hansen@isf.uib.no

ABSTRACT

Background: In Norway there is a shortage of valid health activity statistics from the primary care out-of-hours services and the pre-hospital emergency health care system. There is little systematic information available because data registration is lacking or is only recorded periodically, and definitions of variables are not consistent.

Method: A representative sample of Norwegian municipalities and out-of-hours districts was contracted to establish a sentinel network, "The Watchtowers", and procedures were developed for collecting continuous data from out-of-hours services. All contacts, either per telephone or direct attendance, are recorded during day and night. The variables are registered in a computer program developed by the National Centre for Emergency Primary Health Care, and sent by email in Excel-file format to the Centre on a monthly basis.

Results: The selection process yielded a group of 18 municipalities, with a fair degree of representativeness for Norwegian municipalities as a whole. The sample has 212,921 inhabitants, which constitutes 4.6% of the total Norwegian population. During a pilot period lasting three months the Watchtowers recorded all individual contacts. The procedures for registration, submitting and checking data worked satisfactorily. There was little data missing, and during the last three months of 2006 a total of 23,346 contacts were registered.

Conclusion: We have been able to establish a sentinel network with a fair degree of representativeness for Norwegian out-of-hours districts and municipalities. The data collected reflect national activities from casualty clinics in Norway. Such data are useful for both research and system improvements.

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Contacts and consultations per 1,000 inhabitants for the out-of-hours districts the last three months of 2006.
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Figure 1: Contacts and consultations per 1,000 inhabitants for the out-of-hours districts the last three months of 2006.

Mentions: A total of 23,346 contacts were registered during the last 3 months of 2006. The data were submitted to the Centre in accordance with established procedures. Data check revealed no missing data for the variables nationality, municipality name and municipality number. Time of contact, number of week, day and time were also complete. We found 1.5% missing registrations for mode of contact, 1.5% for first response initiated, 1.3% for gender, 2.0% for age, and 2.3% missing for priority degree. We discovered that approximately 850 cases were lost from one casualty clinic (15.2% of cases from that clinic) due to a technical mishap that could not be reversed. The number of missing cases is included when the contact rates and consultations per 1,000 inhabitants are presented. The total number of cases is therefore 24,196 in Figure 1.


Development, implementation, and pilot study of a sentinel network ("The Watchtowers") for monitoring emergency primary health care activity in Norway.

Hansen EH, Hunskaar S - BMC Health Serv Res (2008)

Contacts and consultations per 1,000 inhabitants for the out-of-hours districts the last three months of 2006.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2279126&req=5

Figure 1: Contacts and consultations per 1,000 inhabitants for the out-of-hours districts the last three months of 2006.
Mentions: A total of 23,346 contacts were registered during the last 3 months of 2006. The data were submitted to the Centre in accordance with established procedures. Data check revealed no missing data for the variables nationality, municipality name and municipality number. Time of contact, number of week, day and time were also complete. We found 1.5% missing registrations for mode of contact, 1.5% for first response initiated, 1.3% for gender, 2.0% for age, and 2.3% missing for priority degree. We discovered that approximately 850 cases were lost from one casualty clinic (15.2% of cases from that clinic) due to a technical mishap that could not be reversed. The number of missing cases is included when the contact rates and consultations per 1,000 inhabitants are presented. The total number of cases is therefore 24,196 in Figure 1.

Bottom Line: There was little data missing, and during the last three months of 2006 a total of 23,346 contacts were registered.We have been able to establish a sentinel network with a fair degree of representativeness for Norwegian out-of-hours districts and municipalities.Such data are useful for both research and system improvements.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: National Centre for Emergency Primary Health Care, Kalfarveien 31, NO-5018 Bergen, Norway. elisabeth.holm-hansen@isf.uib.no

ABSTRACT

Background: In Norway there is a shortage of valid health activity statistics from the primary care out-of-hours services and the pre-hospital emergency health care system. There is little systematic information available because data registration is lacking or is only recorded periodically, and definitions of variables are not consistent.

Method: A representative sample of Norwegian municipalities and out-of-hours districts was contracted to establish a sentinel network, "The Watchtowers", and procedures were developed for collecting continuous data from out-of-hours services. All contacts, either per telephone or direct attendance, are recorded during day and night. The variables are registered in a computer program developed by the National Centre for Emergency Primary Health Care, and sent by email in Excel-file format to the Centre on a monthly basis.

Results: The selection process yielded a group of 18 municipalities, with a fair degree of representativeness for Norwegian municipalities as a whole. The sample has 212,921 inhabitants, which constitutes 4.6% of the total Norwegian population. During a pilot period lasting three months the Watchtowers recorded all individual contacts. The procedures for registration, submitting and checking data worked satisfactorily. There was little data missing, and during the last three months of 2006 a total of 23,346 contacts were registered.

Conclusion: We have been able to establish a sentinel network with a fair degree of representativeness for Norwegian out-of-hours districts and municipalities. The data collected reflect national activities from casualty clinics in Norway. Such data are useful for both research and system improvements.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus