Social network analysis of patient sharing among hospitals in Orange County, California.

TitleSocial network analysis of patient sharing among hospitals in Orange County, California.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLee BY, McGlone SM, Song Y, Avery TR, Eubank S, Chang C-C, Bailey RR, Wagener DK, Burke DS, Platt R, Huang SS
JournalAm J Public Health
Volume101
Issue4
Pagination707-13
Date Published2011 Apr
ISSN1541-0048
KeywordsCalifornia, Evaluation Studies as Topic, Hospitals, County, Humans, Interinstitutional Relations, Patient Discharge, Patient Transfer
Abstract

OBJECTIVES: We applied social network analyses to determine how hospitals within Orange County, California, are interconnected by patient sharing, a system which may have numerous public health implications.METHODS: Our analyses considered 2 general patient-sharing networks: uninterrupted patient sharing (UPS; i.e., direct interhospital transfers) and total patient sharing (TPS; i.e., all interhospital patient sharing, including patients with intervening nonhospital stays). We considered these networks at 3 thresholds of patient sharing: at least 1, at least 10, and at least 100 patients shared.RESULTS: Geographically proximate hospitals were somewhat more likely to share patients, but many hospitals shared patients with distant hospitals. Number of patient admissions and percentage of cancer patients were associated with greater connectivity across the system. The TPS network revealed numerous connections not seen in the UPS network, meaning that direct transfers only accounted for a fraction of total patient sharing.CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis demonstrated that Orange County's 32 hospitals were highly and heterogeneously interconnected by patient sharing. Different hospital populations had different levels of influence over the patient-sharing network.

DOI10.2105/AJPH.2010.202754
Alternate JournalAm J Public Health
PubMed ID21330578
PubMed Central IDPMC3052345
Grant List1U01 GM076672 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
1U54GM088491-0109 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
K23 AI064161-05 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
K23AI64161 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
U01 GM070694 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
U01 GM076672-04 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
U54 GM088491 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
U54 GM088491-02 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
Publication Categories: