Mullen, Deborah M.
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
There has been increasing concern from hospitals and insurance policyholders over the rise of Emergency Department (ED) visits, as it is linked with overcrowding and longer waiting times; an increasingly large proportion of these ED visits are described as non-urgent or clinically unnecessary (O’Keefe, 2017; Pierce, 2009). The purpose of this project is to understand how college students’ perceptions of Emergency Departments influence their decisions on where to seek medical care. Methods: I developed a three-part scenario-based survey using Qualtrics that included the following sections: Consent and General Demographics, Pre-Price Scenarios, and Price Included Scenarios. Participants were asked to rank their three top places of care for each scenario. T-tests were ran to determine if their were significant differences in the mean selection value of the ED in the Pre-Price and Price-Included scenarios. Results: Among the participants of this study, the severity of symptoms, cost to the patient, and speed/availability emerged as the three main considerations in decisions made about where to receive healthcare, and many participants listed some variety of a combination of these three main factors. The ED was selected significantly less in every scenario for the Price-Included section. It was also selected as a lower choice in the Price-Included section. Discussion: The major finding of this study is that, although most participants made the responsible decision to avoid the ED, the ED was still unnecessarily chosen by some participants. However, when participants knew the cost of the health care options, they chose the ED significantly less often, and when they still chose the ED, they chose it as an alternative option. These findings indicate that clear knowledge of cost is a deterrent to the unnecessary use of the ED by college students.
B. A.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts.
Hospitals--Emergency services--Utilization; Undergraduates--Hospital care
Business Administration, Management, and Operations
Britt, Evan, "CARED for ED non-emergency care: college student acceptance, ranking, and economic deterrents of ED non-emergency care" (2023). Honors Theses.