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

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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.

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