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Table 3 Example: Finding evidence for resource consequences. The following data sources were used to estimate the differences in resource use between a programme of outreach visits (targeted at all general practitioners in Norway) and no programme (the status quo) [27]. The programme is described further in Table 1.

From: SUPPORT Tools for evidence-informed health Policymaking (STP) 12: Finding and using research evidence about resource use and costs

Resources Data sources
Development of software Invoices, estimates of time spent
Training of outreach visitors Estimate of time spent; invoices
Printed materials Invoice
Travel Record of travel days, estimate of travel distances
Pharmacists' time Record of number of visits and days spent on visits
Administrative time Records and estimates of time expenditure
Physicians' time Record of length of outreach visit and number of physicians present
Technical support Records of invoices
Drug expenditure Medical records
Patient visits Medical records
Laboratory tests Medical records
  1. Because data were only collected for one year and from 139 practices (501 physicians, half of whom received outreach visits and half of whom did not) it was necessary to extrapolate the use of resources beyond one year and to the rest of the country.