• The "PRINS" Data Collection Project

    Study Description and Methods

    In this descriptive study, we administered the Primary Care Network Survey (PRINS) to AAFP National Research Network physicians. This study was a modified version of the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS). We collected descriptive data about the physicians’ practices, patients, and patient-physician encounters.

    Specific Aims and Objectives

    The primary research questions are:

    1. What are basic characteristics of the practices within the AAFP National Research Network in terms of clinician size, specialty type (single vs. multispecialty), physician employee/owner status, practice ownership type, sources of practice revenues, and types of managed-care contracts);
    2. What are the basic characteristics of patients presenting during sampled visits (scheduled and walk-in) to clinicians within the AAFP National Research Network (zip code, year of birth, gender, ethnicity, and race); and
    3. What are the basic characteristics of sampled patient-clinician encounters (or visits) within the National Research Network (expected source of payment for visit, visit capitation status, patient's reasons for visit, patient's complaints, physician diagnoses, tests/measurements, therapeutic and preventive services, providers seen, surgical procedures, visit dispositions, and visit temporal duration).


    This study was conducted from January 22, 2002 through August 29, 2002.


    This project has been completed. See below for Key Findings and Publications.


    Presented in part at the 1st Annual Practice-based Research Networks (PBRN) Meeting, July 21, 2005, Washington, DC.

    Key Findings and Publications

    PRINS presents a view of diverse primary care visits and differs from NAMCS in its methods and findings. Further examinations of PRINS data are needed to assess their usefulness for describing encounters that occur in primary care research networks

    Access the complete manuscript:

    Describing primary care encounters: The Primary Care Network Survey and The National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.
    Binns HJ, Lanier D, Pace WD, et al. Ann Fam Med. 2007;5:39-47. 

    Practice-based research networks: the laboratories of primary care research. Lindbloom EJ, Ewigman BG, Hickner JM. Med Care. 2004;42(4 Suppl):III45-9. Access the abstract on PubMed.

    Contact Information

    For additional information about this study, please contact:

    AAFP National Research Network
    1-800-274-2237 x3180

    This project was funded by a grant from Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).