PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2009, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (6): 848-854.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2009.06.003

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Measuring Spatial Accessibility to Health Care Facilities Based on Potential Model

SONG Zhengna1,2|CHEN Wen1   

  1. 1. Nanjing Institute of Geography &|Limnology, CAS, Nanjing 210008, China;
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Online:2009-11-25 Published:2009-11-25


Access to health service is recognized as an important facilitator of overall population health, and spatial accessibility is one of the vital indexes to assess whether the distribution of health care facilities is balanced or not. Traditional methodology to assess spatial accessibility usually focuses on alternative of the ratio of supply (provider) versus demand (population) in the administrative unit or the travel impedance between population and health service providers. However, both of them can't be comprehensive to reveal the health care resource quantity which any population location can access due to travel impedance. In the paper, we use the measure of spatial accessibility based on potential model to analyze spatial accessibility from village population location to hospitals with Universal Kriging to interpolate the accessibility values in Rudong County of Jiangsu Province, which integrates three main factors including the service capacity of health care facilities, the population demand impact factor and travel impedance between population location and provider location. Through our study, the following conclusions are reached: after selecting the proper travel friction coefficient which is the key factor to affect sensitively the accuracy of spatial accessibility results when using potential model, the measure of spatial accessibility based on potential model can be more comprehensive and accurate to measure spatial accessibility to health care facilities among the small units of the studied area in the spatial interaction between population and service providers, and by GIS, the methodology is able to reveal directly the difference of spatial accessibility to health care facilities in the studied area, furthermore, health professional shortage areas of the studied area can be defined effectively with certain standards developed by public health management sector, which can support the basis for decision-making of health service planning.

Key words: health care facilities, potential model, spatial accessibility, travel friction coefficient