Patients' choice between public and private hospital emergency departments: a cross-sectional survey

He, Jun and Hou, Xiang-Yu and Toloo, Ghasem (Sam) and FitzGerald, Gerry (2017) Patients' choice between public and private hospital emergency departments: a cross-sectional survey. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 29 (6). pp. 635-642. ISSN 1742-6731


Abstract

Objective The aim of this study was to understand what factors influence patients’ choice between public and private hospital ED and the relative weight of those factors among adult patients with private health insurance in Australia. Methods A survey of 280 patients was conducted in four public and private hospitals’ EDs in Brisbane between May and August 2015. The survey included information about respondent's demographics, nature of illness, decision-making, attitudes and choice. Independent t-test and Pearson's χ²-test were used to identify binary associations, and logistic regression was used to determine what factors influence patients’ choice. Results Patients who agreed that ‘long waiting time is a barrier to access public hospital ED’ were twice as likely to choose private hospitals (odds ratio [OR] 2.172, P = 0.001). Alternatively patients who did not consider that ‘there were long waiting times in public hospital ED’ were less likely to access private hospitals (OR 0.200, P = 0.003). More public hospital patients (70.7%) than private hospital patients (56.4%) (P = 0.015) agreed that ‘out-of-pocket payment is a barrier to accessing private hospital ED’. Patients attending private hospitals rated the quality of service higher than those attending public hospitals (OR 1.26, P = 0.001). Conclusion Longer waiting times in public EDs is the principal issue considered by patients choosing private EDs and the out-of-pocket payment for accessing private EDs is the principal issue considered by public ED patients. The study suggests that addressing the out-of-pocket payments will attract more patients with private health insurance to access private EDs.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2021 01:02
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2021 06:01
Uncontrolled Keywords: choice; emergency department; private hospital; public hospital
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111709 Health Care Administration
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420306 Health care administration
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420201 Behavioural epidemiology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200401 Behaviour and health
20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200311 Urgent and critical care, and emergency medicine
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1742-6723.12841
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/42234

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