Background: Waiting time (WT) is commonly measured via both computerized systems and patient surveys. Comparison between these types of data can reveal important issues about the relationship between self-reported survey data and objective administrative measurement of WT. Aim: To compare national wait time data from two sources: patients’ reported waiting time for community specialist appointments in Israel, with waiting time calculated from computerized administrative data, across specialties and geographic areas. Methods: Median WT for > 1 million appointments from over 6,000 physician practices in 5 specialties (ophthalmology, gynecology, otolaryngology, orthopedics, dermatology) were computed via an algorithm, for “specific” and “any” physician in the region, in December 2018. Results were compared with WT reported in a representative national sample survey of 3508 adults during August-December 2018. Results: Similar trends in WT were seen using both methods, with the longest wait times in dermatology, and in the Southern region. Correlation between survey and administrative data was high (r = 0.9, p < 0.01), with greater correlation for specific compared to any physician scenario. Survey respondents reported longer waiting times compared to administrative data. Conclusions: Patient survey data reflected trends in waiting time for community specialists derived from objective administrative data. Routine computation of WT from administrative data can save time and resources invested in patient surveys and provide a continuous, accurate and timely evaluation of trends. Surveys can provide deeper understanding of patient experience. Alternate use of both platforms provides a better understanding of access to care.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
- Administrative data
- Patient survey
- Primary care
- Waiting time
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health