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The use of hospital beds was studied for a period of one year in a practice under the care of a closely co-ordinated team composed of the family physician, the family nurse, and a medical social worker. Admission rates and mean duration of stay in hospital are analysed and discussed in relation to selected socio-demographic variables.
The results showed that the study population used only half as many hospital beds when compared with national rates in Israel. We consider that this was achieved by the provision of planned co-ordinated comprehensive medical nursing and social services for patients suffering from long-term illness. Such a team is able to provide a high quality medical care and can significanlty reduce the use of in-patient hospital services.