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Arbeitsunfähigkeitsregelungen als Faktor für Inanspruchnahme ärztlicher Versorgung in Deutschland = Regulations of sckness certification as a factor for increased health care utilization in Germany.

Herrmann, W.J., Haarmann, A., Baerheim, A. Arbeitsunfähigkeitsregelungen als Faktor für Inanspruchnahme ärztlicher Versorgung in Deutschland = Regulations of sckness certification as a factor for increased health care utilization in Germany. Zeitschrift für Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualitat im Gesundheitswesen: 2015, 109(8), 552-559
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Traditional measurement models of health care utilization are not able to represent the complex structure of health care utilization. In this qualitative study, we, therefore, developed a new model to represent the health care utilization structure. In Norway and Germany, we conducted episodic interviews, participant observation and a concurrent context analysis.

Data was analyzed by thematic coding in the framework of grounded theory. Consultations do very often not only have one single reason for encounter. They are usually not independent events but form part of consultation sequences. We could find structural differences between Norway and Germany regarding the flow of information between consultations and which providers are involved in health care in what way. This leads to a sequential model, in which health care utilization is seen as sequences of consultations. Such health care utilization sequences consist of nodes which are connected by edges. Nodes represent patientprovider contacts and edges depict the flow of information. Time and the level of health care providers are dimensions in the model. These sequences can be described by different measures and aggregated on population level. Thus, the sequential model can be further used in analyzing health care utilization quantitatively, e.g., by using routine data. (aut. ref.)