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    Forecasting in healthcare

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    Compare and contrast forecasting methods (e.g., seasonal, Delphi, technological, time series). Explain how your organization or an organization with which you are familiar uses one or more of these methods to forecast demand under conditions of uncertainty.

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    Kaiser Permanente is the largest nonprofit health plan in the United States, serving 8.2 million members in 9 states and the District of Columbia.

    What is the delphi method? : A panel of experts who anonymously answer a series of questions develops Forecast; responses are fed back to panel members who then may change their original responses Kindly think in the following terms: This method is:
    - very time consuming and expensive
    - new groupware makes this process much more feasible

    The Kaiser Permanente has used this committee: The committee consisted of over 60 doctors, approximately 15 to 20 of who attended any monthly meeting. Please think of the following the committee used a modified Delphi technique to identify critical components of the factors that support the national asthma guidelines. They began with a review of the NHLBI guidelines, listing each of the key elements or treatment points. During a period of 6 months and through more than 20 revisions, the committee identified 135 key elements that were then incorporated into a 28-item evaluation tool. Each of the items was to be rated on a scale of 1 (topic not covered) to 5 (exceeds criteria). An item had to receive a rating of > 2.5 to meet the CAC standard of "acceptable."
    Please consider the following: Armed with this new tool, 14 committee members, well-versed in the intent of the instrument, rated 133 different asthma treatment points, each of which was reviewed by at least two members. As the completed evaluations were tallied, materials with widely disparate ratings underwent a third review. Amazingly, the scores of the reviewer pairs were within 20% of each other.
    You need to understand this: Of the 133 materials reviewed, only the NHLBI guidelines themselves met all of the criteria as determined by the committee. Based on these findings, the committee was concerned that they might have set too high a standard, and raised the question of whether all criteria should be given equal weight. Please reflect on the following: They concurred that it was possible to identify a subset of 10 items that they believed were critical in meeting minimal acceptable standards. When they applied this new subset of criteria, 21 of the patient education materials met minimum acceptable standards.

    Kindly reflect on this: The committee members were surprised to find that 6 years after the release of the national asthma education guidelines, relatively few of the materials available from advocacy groups, clinicians, or industry effectively taught the key elements of the guidelines.
    They believed that they should not only share their findings with the consortium members, but also offer feedback to other interested organizations. To that end, the committee now offers members and interested parties technical assistance in reviewing their asthma education materials. The committee identifies both strengths and ...