A Space-Time Approach to Diffusion of Health Service Provision Information
This article presents a spaceâ€”time diffusion analysis of health service provision information based on first-time patients of a recently opened hospital located in a disadvantaged neighborhood in Cali, Colombia. It models the patientsâ€™ distribution focusing on diffusion using a geographic information system (GIS). The interest in the hospital stems from its location in a very poor and dangerous neighborhood, its portfolio of services, and recent opening. Data used correspond to first-time patient records of all individuals visiting the hospital since its inauguration. Each record contains the profile of the patient, the treatment type, as well as his or her geographic origin. Data are analyzed in space and time to determine whether any patterns exist to suggest a particular flow path or clusters of patients to the hospital. This information helps hospital administrators adapt and propose new policies that can either improve or continue the performance to reach a set goal. The methodology presented can be used by any hospital, institution, or organization that provides a service and whose access can be constrained by exogenous factors.
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