Using Social Network Analysis As A Tool To Evaluate Medication Management In Ambulatory Care
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The goal of this project is to describe existing systems of medication management in ambulatory care using network analyses methods. This study will identify how network patterns may produce clues to how they link to patient outcome characteristics and patient safety. A longitudinal, roster survey will be used for collecting data in order to conduct network analysis. A longitudinal design is important to be able to collect an accurate representation of medication management over the long-term. Roster survey instruments are a method used to collect data in social network analysis when the research objective is to track who communicates within a given complete network. For this study, medication management will be defined as any task, communication, or other exchange that links a minimum of two persons in the network regarding a patient’s medication therapy. The network analysis will be described in terms of nodes (individual staff, providers and patients) and ties (the number of communications between them). Each network analysis will focus on the interconnectedness (density) and the prominence (centrality) of nodes in each network as is consistent with examining public health systems. Results from the proposed study will determine the utility of a quantitative social network analysis of organizational or ‘structural’ dynamics for evaluation of medication management in ambulatory care. Findings from this study will be useful in two ways: 1) it will determine feasibility of an assessment tool and 2) it will broaden the application of a methodology not previously use in ambulatory care.
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