The system of data recording and retrieval which defines a family practice population of patients is described. It is organized at two levels, as a series of manual instruments or as a single instrument used as data input to a computer. Depending on resources available, it is possible to record demographic and morbidity data from the patient populations of both teaching and nonteaching practices. Data have been collected from a patient population of 88,000 in 26 practicing sites in Virginia, totaling 380,000 diagnostic and follow-up visits. Presentations are made of some of this data. The costs of this recording process in nonteaching practices, the use of such data as an educational resource for the training of primary care physicians, and the evaluations of health care delivered are discussed.
The study reported here was supported in part by the Office of Special Programs, Bureau of Health Manpower and Education, National Institutes of Health, through grant 1R27 MB00011001.
Dr. Wood is professor and director of research, Dr. Mayo is professor and chairman, and Dr. Marsland is clinical assistant professor and associate director of the Riverside Family Practice Center, Newport News. Virginia All are in the Department of Family Practice, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond. Dr. Marsland also holds an appointment as clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the Medical College and is director of pediatrics, Riverside Hospital.
© 1975 Association of American Medical Colleges