A Decision Support Tool for Health Service Re-design
Many of the outpatient services are currently only available in hospitals, however there are plans to provide some of these services alongside with General Practitioners. Consequently, General Practitioners could soon be based at polyclinics. These changes have caused a number of concerns to Hounslow Primary Care Trust (PCT). For example, which of the outpatient services are to be shifted from the hospital to the polyclinic? What are the current and expected future demands for these services? To tackle some of these concerns, the first phase of this project explores the set of specialties that are frequently visited in a sequence (using sequential association rules). The second phase develops an Excel based spreadsheet tool to compute the current and expected future demands for the selected specialties. From the sequential association rule algorithm, endocrinology and ophthalmology were found to be highly associated (i.e. frequently visited in a sequence), which means that these two specialties could easily be shifted from the hospital environment to the polyclinic. We illustrated the Excel based spreadsheet tool for endocrinology and ophthalmology, however, the model is generic enough to cope with other specialties, provided that the data are available.