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Out of hours care: a profile analysis of patients attending the emergency department and the general practitioner on call

Hilde Philips, Roy Remmen, Peter De Paepe UGent, Walter Buylaert UGent and Paul Van Royen (2010) BMC FAMILY PRACTICE. 11.
abstract
Background: Overuse of emergency departments (ED) is of concern in Western society and it is often referred to as 'inappropriate' use. This phenomenon may compromise efficient use of health care personnel, infrastructure and financial resources of the ED. To redirect patients, an extensive knowledge of the experiences and attitudes of patients and their choice behaviour is necessary. The aim of this study is to quantify the patients and socio economical determinants for choosing the general practitioner (GP) on call or the ED. Methods: Data collection was conducted simultaneously in 4 large cities in Belgium. All patients who visited EDs or used the services of the GP on call during two weekends in January 2005 were enrolled in the study in a prospective manner. We used semi-structured questionnaires to interview patients from both services. Results: 1611 patient contacts were suitable for further analysis. 640 patients visited the GP and 971 went to the ED. Determinants that associated with the choice of the ED are: being male, having visited the ED during the past 12 months at least once, speaking another language than Dutch or French, being of African (sub-Saharan as well as North African) nationality and no medical insurance. We also found that young men are more likely to seek help at the ED for minor trauma, compared to women. Conclusions: Patients tend to seek help at the service they are acquainted with. Two populations that distinctively seek help at the ED for minor medical problems are people of foreign origin and men suffering minor trauma. Aiming at a redirection of patients, special attention should go to these patients. Informing them about the health services' specific tasks and the needlessness of technical examinations for minor trauma, might be a useful intervention.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
SERVICE, ACCESS, ATTITUDES, COMMUNITY, ATTENDANCE, PREFERENCES, URGENT, ACCIDENT, DISCRETE-CHOICE EXPERIMENT, A-AND-E
journal title
BMC FAMILY PRACTICE
BMC Fam. Pract.
volume
11
pages
8 pages
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000285100600001
JCR category
MEDICINE, GENERAL & INTERNAL
JCR impact factor
1.467 (2010)
JCR rank
58/151 (2010)
JCR quartile
2 (2010)
ISSN
1471-2296
DOI
10.1186/1471-2296-11-88
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
1191259
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-1191259
date created
2011-03-17 14:22:04
date last changed
2011-03-21 17:08:52
@article{1191259,
  abstract     = {Background: Overuse of emergency departments (ED) is of concern in Western society and it is often referred to as 'inappropriate' use. This phenomenon may compromise efficient use of health care personnel, infrastructure and financial resources of the ED. To redirect patients, an extensive knowledge of the experiences and attitudes of patients and their choice behaviour is necessary. The aim of this study is to quantify the patients and socio economical determinants for choosing the general practitioner (GP) on call or the ED.

Methods: Data collection was conducted simultaneously in 4 large cities in Belgium. All patients who visited EDs or used the services of the GP on call during two weekends in January 2005 were enrolled in the study in a prospective manner. We used semi-structured questionnaires to interview patients from both services.

Results: 1611 patient contacts were suitable for further analysis. 640 patients visited the GP and 971 went to the ED. Determinants that associated with the choice of the ED are: being male, having visited the ED during the past 12 months at least once, speaking another language than Dutch or French, being of African (sub-Saharan as well as North African) nationality and no medical insurance. We also found that young men are more likely to seek help at the ED for minor trauma, compared to women.

Conclusions: Patients tend to seek help at the service they are acquainted with. Two populations that distinctively seek help at the ED for minor medical problems are people of foreign origin and men suffering minor trauma. Aiming at a redirection of patients, special attention should go to these patients. Informing them about the health services' specific tasks and the needlessness of technical examinations for minor trauma, might be a useful intervention.},
  author       = {Philips, Hilde and Remmen, Roy and De Paepe, Peter and Buylaert, Walter and Van Royen, Paul},
  issn         = {1471-2296},
  journal      = {BMC FAMILY PRACTICE},
  keyword      = {SERVICE,ACCESS,ATTITUDES,COMMUNITY,ATTENDANCE,PREFERENCES,URGENT,ACCIDENT,DISCRETE-CHOICE EXPERIMENT,A-AND-E},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {8},
  title        = {Out of hours care: a profile analysis of patients attending the emergency department and the general practitioner on call},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2296-11-88},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2010},
}

Chicago
Philips, Hilde, Roy Remmen, Peter De Paepe, Walter Buylaert, and Paul Van Royen. 2010. “Out of Hours Care: a Profile Analysis of Patients Attending the Emergency Department and the General Practitioner on Call.” Bmc Family Practice 11.
APA
Philips, H., Remmen, R., De Paepe, P., Buylaert, W., & Van Royen, P. (2010). Out of hours care: a profile analysis of patients attending the emergency department and the general practitioner on call. BMC FAMILY PRACTICE, 11.
Vancouver
1.
Philips H, Remmen R, De Paepe P, Buylaert W, Van Royen P. Out of hours care: a profile analysis of patients attending the emergency department and the general practitioner on call. BMC FAMILY PRACTICE. 2010;11.
MLA
Philips, Hilde, Roy Remmen, Peter De Paepe, et al. “Out of Hours Care: a Profile Analysis of Patients Attending the Emergency Department and the General Practitioner on Call.” BMC FAMILY PRACTICE 11 (2010): n. pag. Print.