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Chiropractic Research Review

Forecasting Developments in Health Care in the 21st Century

Forecasting is really just an attempt to anticipate the future. With the new millennium upon us, various groups within health care are using forecasting methods to make predictions on how advancing information technology, the Internet, managed care and reimbursement rules, and administration and management will change in the new century.

This article reviews different methods of forecasting in the context of chiropractic delivery in the 21st century, and presents the methods and results of a preliminary Delphi forecasting exercise.

The topics selected for review encompassed various aspects of chiropractic education and credentialing; accountability in delivery of chiropractic care; economic trends; health benefit constructs; social and ethical challenges/conflicts; and theoretical constructs of vertebral subluxation.

A 30-item survey using a seven-point Likert scale (1= strongly disagree, 7 = strongly agree) was compiled based on these topics, with 16 expert panelists responding to the survey and also generating articles based on one of the aforementioned topics. Panelists completed the survey on two occasions (before writing their article and after).

The aggregated results of the survey are presented in the article text for review. The authors conclude: "Perhaps the most important lesson to be gained from this exercise is that there are systematic approaches being used in health care to outline strategic planning priorities. There is every reason to suggest that chiropractors and their organizations should undertake similar exercises."

Note: This paper presents various challenges that the individual practitioner will likely be confronted with in the next 10 years. This is an article worth reading front to back if one wishes to know what potentially lies ahead.

Hansen DT. Forecasting methods in health care. Topics in Clinical Chiropractic, March 2000:7(1), pp1-9. Reprints: (800) 638-8437

Chiropractic Research Review

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