Compliance and patient satisfaction with treatment settings recommended by the medical on-call service 116117 in Germany using computer-assisted structured initial assessment: a cross-sectional observational study accompanying the demand intervention


OBJECTIVES: In order to reduce the use of emergency departments, computer-assisted initial assessment was implemented at the medical on-call service 116117. Our study assessed compliance and patient satisfaction.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional observational postal survey.

SETTING: Medical on-call service 116117 by eight Associations of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians in Germany.

PARTICIPANTS: The intervention was observed between January 2020 and March 2021. Minors and patients with invalid contact data were excluded. A random sample of eligible patients received standardised questionnaires by mail.

OUTCOME MEASURES: We analysed associations of sociodemographic data, health status, previous service use, health literacy, and recommended settings with compliance and patient satisfaction by multivariable, multilevel logistic regression.

INTERVENTIONS: Based on symptoms and context factors, the computer software suggested service levels. Staff and patient discussed if higher levels were indicated, services were available and self-transport was possible. They then agreed on recommendations for treatment settings.

RESULTS: Of 9473 contacted eligible patients, 1756 patients (18.5%) participated. Median age was 66 years (IQR=50-79), and 986 (59.0%) were women. At least one recommended setting was used by 1397 patients (85.4%). General practitioner (GP) practices were used by 143 patients (68.4%). Generally, better compliance was associated with lower depression levels (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.17 to 2.17, p=0.003), fewer previous hospital stays (OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.27 to 3.23, p=0.003) and recommendations for any setting other than GP practices (OR 0.13, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.29, p<0001, to OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.72, p=0.003). A total of 606 patients (50.7%) were completely satisfied. Patient satisfaction was associated with higher age (OR 1.30, 95% CI 1.13 to 1.49, p<0.001), better self-rated health (OR 1.30, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.53, p=0.002), not having musculoskeletal disorders (OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.49 to 0.94, p=0.021), better health literacy (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.54 to 0.89, p=0.005, and OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.36 to 0.67, p<0.001) and receiving no recommendation for GP practices (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.87, p=0.006).

CONCLUSIONS: Most patients were compliant and satisfied. Lowest compliance and satisfaction were found in GP practices, but nonetheless, two of three patients with respective recommendations were willing to use this setting.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00017014.

Bibliografische Daten

StatusVeröffentlicht - 09.05.2023

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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

PubMed 37160385