Qualitative study of patients' choice between public and private hospital emergency departments

He, Jun and Toloo, Ghasem-Sam and Hou, Xiang-Yu and FitzGerald, Gerry (2016) Qualitative study of patients' choice between public and private hospital emergency departments. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 28 (2). pp. 159-163. ISSN 1742-6731


Abstract

Objective
The aim of this study was to gather patients' perceptions regarding their choice between public and private hospital EDs for those who hold private health insurance. The findings of this study will contribute to knowledge regarding patients' decision-making processes and therefore may contribute to the development of evidence based public policies.

Methods
An in-depth semi-structured guide was used to interview participants at public and private hospital EDs. Questions sought to identify the issues that were considered by the participants to decide to attend that hospital ED, previous ED experience, expectations of ED services and perceived benefits and barriers to accessing services. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using content and thematic approaches.

Results
Four core themes emerged: prior good experience with the hospital, perceived quality of care, perceived waiting times and perceived costs that may explain patients' choice. Patients' choice between public and private EDs can be explained by the interaction of these core themes. The principal issues appear to be concern for gap payments at private hospital ED and waiting times at public hospital ED.

Conclusions
Patients who choose to attend public EDs appear to value financial concern over waiting time; those who choose to attend private EDs appear to value waiting time ahead of financial concerns.


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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 02:10
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
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110305 Emergency Medicine
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420309 Health management
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420311 Health systems
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420306 Health care administration
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health
C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920208 Health Policy Evaluation
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2002 Evaluation of health and support services > 200206 Health system performance (incl. effectiveness of programs)
20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200308 Outpatient care
20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200311 Urgent and critical care, and emergency medicine
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1742-6723.12530
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/42237

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