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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


CAMINAL, Josefina et al. Investigation Progress in Spain with «Ambulatory Care Sensitive Conditions». Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2002, vol.76, n.3, pp.189-196. ISSN 2173-9110.

Hospitalization due to ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSC) is an indicator of hospital activity that has demonstrated its usefulness as an indirect measurement of primary care effectiveness. Since this indicator was recently introduced in Spain, a collaborative effort between the different research groups could facilitate and promote its development and progress. The objective of this paper is to propose a working agenda that, starting from the most recent information, enhances the advance in this research field. The agenda includes the following sections: 1) To draw up specific ACSC lists for adult and pediatric population, as well as to look in greater depth into the concepts of, and differences in avoidable hospitalization and ACSC. 2) To complete the indicator validation process by assessing the external validity. 3) To propose, for future studies, the municipality as the unit of analysis, as well as to individualize the analysis of health conditions allowing for the differences between acute and chronic ones. 4) To adjust the indicators of hospital activity by hospital use index, when data from some hospitals are lacking and comparisons are wanted 5) To include a new variable, provider of primary health care services, in the Minimum Basic Data Set of Hospital Discharges. 6) To use this indicator as a measure of both the distribution of functions between levels of care and the coordination among them.

Keywords : Primary health care; Hospital; Ambulatory care sensitive conditions; Health services research.

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