Where Are My Patients Coming From?

2010 ESRI Southwest Regional User Group Conference

Kim Dufour

“This presentation will focus on using ArcGIS Desktop to perform spider analyses to better understand geographic patterns in provider/patient relationships. Spider diagrams connect the location of providers with their patients with lines radiating out from the provider location. These analyses can be very useful to healthcare payers and providers for understanding differences in distances traveled for patients in urban and rural locations. For example, this information can be used by Medicare, Medicaid, or insurers to identify areas under-served by a particular type of physician. Further, they help us better understand how far patients may travel when a provider is highly specialized. In addition, these analyses can help us understand geographic patterns between attending physicians and the hospitals in which they treat patients. Spider diagrams are also relevant when looking for potential fraudulent behavior. For example, providers whose patients routinely travel 50 miles or more may be billing for services not rendered. Factors such as specialization and availability of care are critical in such an analysis. The use of ArcGIS provides analysts and executives with clear visualization of provider/patient relationships in order to improve the decision-making process. This presentation is geared for beginner-level users of ArcGIS Desktop and will include a demonstration of the geo-coding using the StreetMap North America data included with the ArcGIS installation disks. It will also include demonstration creating spider diagram.”

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