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BMJ Publishing Group, BMJ Quality & Safety, 9(28), p. 697-705, 2018

DOI: 10.1136/bmjqs-2018-007976



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Effects and costs of implementing predictive risk stratification in primary care: a randomised stepped wedge trial

This paper was not found in any repository, but could be made available legally by the author.
This paper was not found in any repository, but could be made available legally by the author.

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AimWe evaluated the introduction of a predictive risk stratification model (PRISM) into primary care. Contemporaneously National Health Service (NHS) Wales introduced Quality and Outcomes Framework payments to general practices to focus care on those at highest risk of emergency admission to hospital. The aim of this study was to evaluate the costs and effects of introducing PRISM into primary care.MethodsRandomised stepped wedge trial with 32 general practices in one Welsh health board. The intervention comprised: PRISM software; practice-based training; clinical support through two ‘general practitioner (GP) champions’ and technical support. The primary outcome was emergency hospital admissions.ResultsAcross 230 099 participants, PRISM implementation increased use of health services: emergency hospital admission rates by 1 % when untransformed (while change in log-transformed rate ΔL=0.011, 95% CI 0.010 to 0.013); emergency department (ED) attendance rates by untransformed 3 % (while ΔL=0.030, 95% CI 0.028 to 0.032); outpatient visit rates by untransformed 5 % (while ΔL=0.055, 95% CI 0.051 to 0.058); the proportion of days with recorded GP activity by untransformed 1 % (while ΔL=0.011, 95% CI 0.007 to 0.014) and time in hospital by untransformed 3 % (while ΔL=0.029, 95% CI 0.026 to 0.031). Thus NHS costs per participant increased by £76 (95% CI £46 to £106).ConclusionsIntroduction of PRISM resulted in a statistically significant increase in emergency hospital admissions and use of other NHS services without evidence of benefits to patients or the NHS.