Thursday, July 19, 2012

Study Examines Variation, Factors Involved With Patient-Sharing Networks Among Physicians in U.S.

From the release: "Physicians tend to share patients with colleagues who have similar personal traits and practice styles, and there is substantial variation in physician network characteristics across geographic areas, according to a study in the July 18 issue of JAMA.

Physicians are embedded in informal networks that result from their sharing of patients, information, and behaviors. “These informal information-sharing networks of physicians differ from formal organizational structures (such as a physician group associated with a health plan, hospital, or independent practice association) in that they do not necessarily conform to the boundaries established by formal structures,” according to background information in the article. “The potential influence of informal networks of physicians on decision making has been understudied despite the potential importance of these networks in day-to-day practice.”  Read more