Spatial Analysis of Hospital Service Areas in Southwest Missouri

Date of Graduation

Spring 1985


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

William Cheek


In this research twenty-three hospital service areas were mapped to show the unequal distribution of hospitals in a twenty-four county region in southwest Missouri. Two types of service areas were analyzed for each hospital included in this research. The actual service area geographically displays patient origin by ZIP code regions within the study area. The time-distance service area shows that ZIP code regions are within a thirty-minute travel time of each hospital. Other factors and related data are included to contribute to the thesis. Ten factors dealing with patient selection of hospitals are discussed to gain an understanding of the influences on individuals in different situations. Population characteristics are mapped to show where the demand for services is greatest in the study region. Areas lying outside of a thirty-minute travel time were identified by combining all of the time-distance service areas together to form one map which displays the unequal distribution of hospitals. The conclusion of this research shows there is a significant amount of area lying outside of a reasonable travel distance to any hospital in southwest Missouri. Following the analysis and conclusion, policy recommendations are offered to help solve the unequal distribution of hospital facilities in southwest Missouri.

Subject Categories

Earth Sciences


© Christopher J Ives