What determines a patient’s treatment? Evidence from out of hours primary care co-op data in the Republic of Ireland
This study explores consistency in healthcare. It investigates whether vulnerable groups in the population receive the most appropriate care. This is achieved by considering the case study of individuals who present to out of hours (OOH) primary care services in the Republic of Ireland with gastroenteritis. Specifically an individual can potentially receive four services; nurse advice, doctor advice, a treatment centre consultation or a home visit. Results show that service choice is influenced by patient, call and seasonal characteristics to varying degrees. Patient symptoms are the primary driver of the type of service the patients receives. Results also indicate that the OOH primary care facilities individual characteristics do not affect service choice. This suggests a degree of consistent care across these organisations. It also provides evidence that service choice is exogenous to the organisation. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007
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