Gender Differences in Patients' Experience of Care in the Emergency Department

Published in: Journal of General Internal Medicine, Volume 37, pages 676–679 (2022). doi: 10.1007/s11606-021-06862-x

Posted on RAND.org on January 25, 2023

by Peggy G. Chen, Anagha Alka Tolpadi, Marc N. Elliott, Ron D. Hays, William Lehrman, Debra S. Stark, Layla Parast

The emergency department (ED) is a unique healthcare environment, bridging outpatient and inpatient care. Previous work has reported gender differences in diagnosis and treatment in ED settings. However, little is known about gender differences in patient experience in the ED, though such differences are reported in other settings. Among patients discharged from acute care hospitals, women reported worse experiences than men on nine out of ten measures; in a study of Medicare Advantage enrollees, women reported better experiences than men on measures involving interactions with administrative staff and timely access to care, but worse experiences than men on getting needed care.

Potential gender differences in ED patient experiences would run counter to recent calls for health equity. Such differences are also important given evidence that better patient experience is associated with better outcomes and better adherence to treatment recommendations. We used data from a nationwide study of ED patients to examine gender differences in patient-reported experiences with ED care.

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