Assessing the timeliness of ambulatory medical care

D. M. Steinwachs, R. Yaffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The extent to which individuals receive necessary and timely care (timeliness) is one dimension of the process of care that has received little attention. Timeliness can be viewed as the interaction between patient care-seeking behavior and system accessibility, both of which are expected to influence the effectiveness of medical care. This study examines the provider's assessment of the timeliness of care received in the department of medicine of a prepaid program. Provider judgments are found to be significantly related to the provider's perception of problem severity and to the patient's prognosis. Analysis of patient-reported problem status one week later are also found to be related to the timeliness of care. Implications of timeliness assessments for monitoring and improving access and care-seeking behavior are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-556
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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