Service delivery structure and continuity of care: a case study of a pediatric practice in process of reorganization

J Health Soc Behav. 1976 Dec;17(4):339-52.


The effects of the reorganization of a medical practice on continuity of care were investigated in a case study of a changing pediatric practice. Continuity, which has often been conceptualized as one indicator of quality of care, was measured by an index of which the numerator was the number of visits with own pediatrician and the denominator was the total number of pediatric visits for the year. Increased number of pediatricians and incorporation of the practice into an academic setting resulted in a decline of continuity of care accompanied by a rise in the number of doctor visits for acute illness care. Patient satisfaction, although related in some of its aspects to continuity, was by and large unaffected by the change. The consequences of changes in practice size and goal complexity for interpersonal aspects of patient care and quality of care are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Comprehensive Health Care*
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Group Practice
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Institutional Practice
  • Pediatrics*
  • Physicians / statistics & numerical data
  • Private Practice
  • Professional Practice*