Background: During the last decade, planning concentration policies have been applied in healthcare systems. Among them, attention has been given to guiding patients towards high-volume hospitals that perform better, acccording to the volume-outcome association. This paper analyses which factors drive patients to choose big or small hospitals (with respect to the international standards of volumes of activity). Methods: We examined colon cancer surgeries performed in Piedmont (Italy) between 2004 and 2018. We categorised the patient choice of the hospital as big/small, and we used this outcome as main dependent variable of descriptive statistics, tests and logistic regression models. As independent variables, we included (i) patient characteristics, (ii) characteristics of the closest big hospital (which should be perceived as the most immediate to be chosen), and (iii) territorial characteristics (i.e., characteristics of the set of hospitals among which the patient can choose). We also considered interactions among variables to examine which factors influence all or a subset of patients. Results: Our results confirm that patient personal characteristics (such as age) and hospital characteristics (such as distance) play a primary role in the patient decision process. The findings seem to support the importance of closing small hospitals when they are close to big hospitals, although differences emerge between rural and urban areas. Other interesting insights are provided by examining the interactions between factors, e.g., patients affected by comorbidities are more responsive to hospital quality even though they are distant. Conclusions: Reorganising healthcare services to concentrate them in high-volume hospitals emerged as a crucial issue more than forty years ago. Evidence suggests that concentration strategies guarantee better clinical performance. However, in healthcare systems in which patients are free to choose where to be treated, understanding patients' behaviour and what drives them towards the most effective choice is of paramount importance. Our study builds on previous research that has already analysed factors influencing patients' choices, and takes a step further to enlighten which factors drive patients to choose between a small or a big hospital (in terms of volume). The results could be used by decision makers to design the best concentration strategy.

How to direct patients to high-volume hospitals: exploring the influencing drivers

Listorti, Elisabetta
;
2023

Abstract

Background: During the last decade, planning concentration policies have been applied in healthcare systems. Among them, attention has been given to guiding patients towards high-volume hospitals that perform better, acccording to the volume-outcome association. This paper analyses which factors drive patients to choose big or small hospitals (with respect to the international standards of volumes of activity). Methods: We examined colon cancer surgeries performed in Piedmont (Italy) between 2004 and 2018. We categorised the patient choice of the hospital as big/small, and we used this outcome as main dependent variable of descriptive statistics, tests and logistic regression models. As independent variables, we included (i) patient characteristics, (ii) characteristics of the closest big hospital (which should be perceived as the most immediate to be chosen), and (iii) territorial characteristics (i.e., characteristics of the set of hospitals among which the patient can choose). We also considered interactions among variables to examine which factors influence all or a subset of patients. Results: Our results confirm that patient personal characteristics (such as age) and hospital characteristics (such as distance) play a primary role in the patient decision process. The findings seem to support the importance of closing small hospitals when they are close to big hospitals, although differences emerge between rural and urban areas. Other interesting insights are provided by examining the interactions between factors, e.g., patients affected by comorbidities are more responsive to hospital quality even though they are distant. Conclusions: Reorganising healthcare services to concentrate them in high-volume hospitals emerged as a crucial issue more than forty years ago. Evidence suggests that concentration strategies guarantee better clinical performance. However, in healthcare systems in which patients are free to choose where to be treated, understanding patients' behaviour and what drives them towards the most effective choice is of paramount importance. Our study builds on previous research that has already analysed factors influencing patients' choices, and takes a step further to enlighten which factors drive patients to choose between a small or a big hospital (in terms of volume). The results could be used by decision makers to design the best concentration strategy.
2023
2023
Listorti, Elisabetta; Pastore, Erica; Alfieri, Arianna
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4061260
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact