Hospitalisations preventable by timely and effective primary health care

Josefina Caminal Homar, M. Morales Espinoza, E. Sánchez Ruiz, M. J. Cubells Larrosa, M. Bustins Poblet

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. To know the specific health problems referred as ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSC) and to identify the primordial interventions of primary health care (PHC) in reducing hospitalisations due to ACSC. Design. Descriptive study of hospital discharges generated in Catalonia during 1998-1999, and a Delphi study to reach information about PHC primordial interventions. Measures. Diagnostic codes of ACSC selected as markers of PHC effectiveness were used. We analysed hospital discharge distribution by age groups and overalI, and hospitalisation rates with its 95% confidence intervals. Descriptive analysis of consensus reached by, experts using self-administrated questionnaires was done. Results. The 8.42% of total discharges were due to ACSC. The majority of these (86.9%) fell in 4 of the 13 diagnostic categories included in the ACSC list. A great variety of pathologies with different frequencies were identified. Primary prevention and early diagnoses and treatment were considered as primordial interventions. Chronic health problems needed multimodal interventions. Conclusions. Diagnostic codes included in each diagnostic category were congruent with the diseases identified. Interventions that could prevent hospitalisations due to ACSC are contemplated as role of PHC. Indicator validity to assess PHC effectiveness is maintained by both results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-14
JournalAtencion Primaria
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • Ambulatory care sensitive conditions
  • Effectiveness
  • Hospitalisation
  • Primary care


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