GERALD CHARLES, M.D.; DAVID H. STIMSON, PH.D.; MICHAEL D. MAURIER, M.A.L.D.; JOHN C. GOOD, M.D.
CHARLES G, STIMSON DH, MAURIER MD, GOOD JC. Physician's Assistants and Clinical Algorithms in Health Care Delivery: A Case Study. Ann Intern Med. 1974;81:733-739. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-81-6-733
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1974;81(6):733-739.
During a 3-month program in a large teaching hospital physician's assistants were trained to use clinical algorithms in seeing patients in a drop-in clinic. Evaluative studies revealed that  clinical algorithms can be used to deal effectively with most of the presenting complaints of patients in the drop-in clinic,  clinical algorithms allow control over use of institutional resources,  physician's assistants can be quickly trained to use clinical algorithms,  prior collection of data by physician's assistants reduces the amount of time physicians spend with patients,  physician's assistants collect and record significantly more data than do physicians, and  patients readily accept physician's assistants. The studies also showed that effective use of physician's assistants and clinical algorithms in institutions is hampered by problems involving professional roles, organizational structure, and managerial ability.
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