Patient pathways of tuberculosis care-seeking and treatment: an individual-level analysis of National Health Insurance data in Taiwan

Patients with tuberculosis (TB) often experience difficulties in accessing diagnosis and treatment. Patient pathway analysis identifies mismatches between TB patient care-seeking patterns and service coverage. Researchers developed an algorithmic approach to analyse and interpret patient-level routine data on healthcare use and to construct patients’ pathways from initial care-seeking to treatment outcome. Patients most commonly initially sought care at the primary clinic level, where the capacity for diagnosing TB patients was 12%, before eventually initiating treatment at higher levels. The study allows an understanding of several temporal aspects of care pathways, including lead times to care and the variability in patient pathways. Analysis of Taiwanese patient pathways suggests improved capacity to refer diagnostic specimens from peripheral healthcare facilities could simplify patient access to TB care. The BMJ Global Health

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