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July 17, 1972

Health Care Delivery in the CommunityUse of Available Resources

JAMA. 1972;221(3):289-291. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200160039011

Coordination and more effective use of available community health resources resulted in a more equitable access to better care for stroke patients in 19 predominantly rural counties in North Carolina. The almost 1 million people in these regions had access to community stroke programs involving 22 general hospitals (average bed capacity, 140), eight nursing homes, and one extended-care facility. The interdependent functions of existing health personnel and facilities form a health care delivery chain which offer the patient continuity of care. Evaluation of inhospital treatment of 178 prestroke program, and of 408 poststroke program cohorts illustrates that patterns of care can be improved promptly and economically. These concepts can be applied to the management of other disease categories in both urban and rural communities.