What do hospital decision-makers in Ontario, Canada, have to say about the fairness of priority setting in their institutions?
AuthorReeleder, D; Martin, DK; Keresztes, C; Singer, PA
Source TitleBMC Health Services Research
University of Melbourne Author/sSinger, Peter
AffiliationSchool of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsReeleder, D., Martin, D. K., Keresztes, C. & Singer, P. A. (2005). What do hospital decision-makers in Ontario, Canada, have to say about the fairness of priority setting in their institutions?. BMC HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH, 5 (1), https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-5-8.
Access StatusOpen Access
BACKGROUND: Priority setting, also known as rationing or resource allocation, occurs at all levels of every health care system. Daniels and Sabin have proposed a framework for priority setting in health care institutions called 'accountability for reasonableness', which links priority setting to theories of democratic deliberation. Fairness is a key goal of priority setting. According to 'accountability for reasonableness', health care institutions engaged in priority setting have a claim to fairness if they satisfy four conditions of relevance, publicity, appeals/revision, and enforcement. This is the first study which has surveyed the views of hospital decision makers throughout an entire health system about the fairness of priority setting in their institutions. The purpose of this study is to elicit hospital decision-makers' self-report of the fairness of priority setting in their hospitals using an explicit conceptual framework, 'accountability for reasonableness'. METHODS: 160 Ontario hospital Chief Executive Officers, or their designates, were asked to complete a survey questionnaire concerning priority setting in their publicly funded institutions. Eight-six Ontario hospitals completed this survey, for a response rate of 54%. Six close-ended rating scale questions (e.g. Overall, how fair is priority setting at your hospital?), and 3 open-ended questions (e.g. What do you see as the goal(s) of priority setting in your hospital?) were used. RESULTS: Overall, 60.7% of respondents indicated their hospitals' priority setting was fair. With respect to the 'accountability for reasonableness' conditions, respondents indicated their hospitals performed best for the relevance (75.0%) condition, followed by appeals/revision (56.6%), publicity (56.0%), and enforcement (39.5%). CONCLUSIONS: For the first time hospital Chief Executive Officers within an entire health system were surveyed about the fairness of priority setting practices in their institutions using the conceptual framework 'accountability for reasonableness'. Although many hospital CEOs felt that their priority setting was fair, ample room for improvement was noted, especially for the enforcement condition.
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