Factors Affecting Hospital Choice Decisions: an exploratory study of healthcare consumers in Northern India
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This study examines the factors affecting hospital choice decisions by patients for tertiary level healthcare services and the relationships of these factors with respondent demographics. It also categorises the decision makers involved in the selection of hospitals. Data were collected from in-patients of multispecialty hospitals located in northern India with the help of a structured questionnaire. Factor analysis, ANOVA and t-test techniques have been employed to analyse the data. The study has revealed that the factors that affect hospital choice decisions of patients are basic amenities, reputation and quality, building and infrastructure, ease and affordability, personal substances (experiences), responsiveness of services, recommendations and suggestions, clinical support, privacy and information sharing, and range of services. The study has also revealed that various categories of respondent demographics, namely, age, gender, residence, education and monthly family income are significantly different statistically (P<.05) with respect to the identified factors. It has been found that most of the time family members, doctors or a combination of family members and doctors make the decisions to choose the hospital. It has also been found that friends/ relatives and patients themselves choose the hospital in some cases.