Why Do We Send Patients To Hospitals?

Marzi C Hemming B and Abholz HH.
Heinrich-Heine- Universitat. D├╝sseldorf (Germany).
Introduction. Physicians and health insurances do not know exactly the real causes of patient admissions to hospitals. The existing statistics of medical diagnoses are not solid, because administrative data cannot show the real constellation which brings a doctor to send his patient to hospital. We analyse the genuine factors behind the diagnoses, which influence the doctors decision to send his patient to a hospital. Questions: What are the genuine causes (medical and non-medical) to send patients to a hospital? Does the installation of a regional network of GP's and specialists change doctor's attitude to send the patients to hospital?
Method. Retrospective data collection in a pilot study ( 12 general practitioners) with a patient and physician questionnaire from 10/97 to 10/98. After implementing the elaborated questionnaire in the internet, we will start the prospective data collection from a network of 120 physicians with help of the internet.
First results. At the end of the pilot study and after provisional data evaluation of 7 of the 12 surgeries with 303 hospital admissions, we found 10 per cent non medical causes for stationary treatment. Further evaluation will show the spectrum of diagnoses and their background. This will allow to generate a questionnaire suitable for the Network research.
Why do we send patients to hospitals?