Using visualisation methods to analyse referral networks within community health care among patients aged 65 years and over

Funded by

The Health Foundation Logo

8 February 2019

Published journal: Health Informatics Journal


Community health care services are considered integral to overcoming future problems in health care. However, this sector faces its own challenges, such as how to organise services to provide coordinated care given: their physical distribution, patients using multiple services, increased patient use and differing patient needs. The aim of this work was to explore, analyse and understand patterns in community referrals for patients aged 65 years and over, and their use of multiple services through data visualisation. Working with a large community provider, these methods helped researchers and service managers to investigate questions that were otherwise difficult to answer from raw data. Each map focuses on a different characteristic of community referrals: patients reusing services, concurrent uses of different services and patterns of subsequent referrals. We apply these methods to routine patient data and discuss their implications in designing of a single point of access – a service for streamlining referrals


Palmer, R., Utley, M., Fulop, N. J., & O’Connor, S. (2019). Using visualisation methods to analyse referral networks within community health care among patients aged 65 years and over. Health Informatics Journal.

    You might also like...


    Surviving COVID: The impact of the pandemic on the mental health of NHS workers


    This film illustrates the impact of the pandemic on the mental wellbeing of NHS workers and...


    Surviving COVID: COVID-19 and the long road to recovery


    This film explores the complex care needs of people who have been severely ill with COVID-19, many...


    How are total triage and remote consultation affecting prescribing patterns?


    COVID-19 has seen the rapid and widescale adoption of online and digital tools such as total triage...

    Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

    Get social

    RT @Reema__Patel: *****Job Klaxon! ***** New @AdaLovelaceInst Senior Researcher role on Justice and Equalities, which includes working wit…

    Follow us on Twitter
    Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

    Work with us

    We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

    View current vacancies
    Artboard 101 copy 2

    The Q community

    Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

    Find out more