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Understanding the role of information transparency in improving patient experience under different uncertainties: a quasi-natural experiment

Qing Ye (Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)
Hong Wu (School of Medicine and Health Management, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 11 April 2023

232

Abstract

Purpose

Waiting time, as an important predictor of queue abandonment and patient satisfaction, is important for resource utilization and patient experience management. Medical institutions have given top priority to reforming the appointment system for many years; however, whether the increased information transparency brought about by the appointment scheduling mechanism could improve patient waiting time is not well understood. In this study, the authors examine the effects of information transparency in reducing patient waiting time from an uncertainty perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

Leveraging a quasi-natural experiment in a tertiary academic hospital, the authors analyze over one million observational patient visit records and design the propensity score matching plus the difference in difference (PSM-DID) model and hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) to address this issue.

Findings

The authors confirm that, on average, improved information transparency significantly reduces the waiting time for patients by approximately 6.43 min, a 4.90% reduction. The authors identify three types of uncertainties (resource, process and outcome uncertainty) in the patient visit process that affect patients' waiting time. Moreover, information transparency moderates the relationship between three sources of uncertainties and waiting time.

Originality/value

The authors’ work not only provides important theoretical explanations for the patient-level factors of in-clinic waiting time and the reasons for information technology (IT)-enabled appointment scheduling by time slot (ITASS) to shorten patient waiting time and improve patient experience but also provides potential solutions for further exploration of measures to reduce patient waiting time.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank anonymous reviewers and editors for their valuable suggestions. Also, the authors thank the cooperative institutions for providing the anonymized data.

Declarations of interest: None.

Funding: This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [award no. 72001087].

Citation

Ye, Q. and Wu, H. (2023), "Understanding the role of information transparency in improving patient experience under different uncertainties: a quasi-natural experiment", Internet Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-06-2022-0482

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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