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Setting Priorities for Waiting Lists: Defining Our Terms


  • Hadorn, D.C.


In order to develop standardized measures to access patients's relative priority for services for which there are waiting lists, it is essential that key terms be clearly defined. We propose that severity be defined as the degree or extent of suffering, limits to activities or risk of death, that urgency be defined as severity combined with considerations of the expected benefit and the natural history of the condition; that need be considered equivalent to urgency; and that priority be defined in terms of urgency (or need with or without consideration of social factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Hadorn, D.C., 2000. "Setting Priorities for Waiting Lists: Defining Our Terms," Centre for Health Services and Policy Research 2000:11r, University of British Columbia - Centre for Health Services and Policy Research..
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:brichs:2000:11r

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    Cited by:

    1. Meiland, F. J. M. & Danse, J. A. C. & Wendte, J. F. & Gunning-Schepers, L. J. & Klazinga, N. S., 2002. "Urgency coding as a dynamic tool in management of waiting lists for psychogeriatric nursing home care in The Netherlands," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 171-184, May.
    2. Gupta, Diwakar & Natarajan, Madhu Kailash & Gafni, Amiram & Wang, Lei & Shilton, Don & Holder, Douglas & Yusuf, Salim, 2007. "Capacity planning for cardiac catheterization: A case study," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 1-11, June.
    3. Dew, Kevin & Cumming, Jacqueline & McLeod, Deborah & Morgan, Sonya & McKinlay, Eileen & Dowell, Anthony & Love, Tom, 2005. "Explicit rationing of elective services: implementing the New Zealand reforms," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 1-12, September.
    4. Wang, Qinan, 2004. "Modeling and analysis of high risk patient queues," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 155(2), pages 502-515, June.
    5. Solans-Domènech, Maite & Adam, Paula & Tebé, Cristian & Espallargues, Mireia, 2013. "Developing a universal tool for the prioritization of patients waiting for elective surgery," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 118-126.
    6. Pilar Abad Romero & Begoña Alvarez García & Eva Rodríguez Míguez & Antonio Rodríguez Sampayo, 2006. "Social preferences measures and the quality of the job match for persons with disabilities," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 179(4), pages 113-134, September.

    More about this item



    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets


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