Development of an information system: a means for improving social work practice in health care.

P. J. Volland, P. S. German

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Johns Hopkins Hospital has developed a social work information system involving seven referral problem categories based on problems as identified by the referral source, ten problem categories for social work service, identified by the social work person after interview, and ten social work service categories similarly identified. The latter two categories include contracts with patients and expected outcomes together with categorization of actual outcome. Analyses of the coded data allow for more effective management of social work services and permit social work departments to compete for scarce resources, to comply with external regulations and accountability demands, and to assure quality service. In addition they provide a firm data base for research. The problem and service categories were tested for reliability by comparing the independent categorizations of 159 and 154 cases respectively by six social work persons, two each at three different levels of experience. Reliability levels were found to be satisfactory. The development of this system and the method of reliability testing are described and believed to be applicable to other systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-339
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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