Physiotherapy Services Provided Outside of Business Hours in Australian Hospitals: A National Survey Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Physiotherapy services provided outside of business hours may improve patient and hospital outcomes, but there is limited understanding of what services are provided. This study described current services provided outside of business hours across Australian hospitals. METHODS: Design Descriptive, cross-sectional, Web-based survey. Participants A random sample of Australian hospitals from the public or private sector located in either metropolitan or rural/regional areas. RESULTS: A total of 112 completed surveys were submitted. The most common service outside of business hours was a Saturday service, provided by 61% of participating hospitals with a median (interquartile range [IQR]) of 1.0 hour (0.0 and 3.4) of physiotherapy per 30 beds. Sunday services were provided by 43% of hospitals, and services provided outside of business hours from Monday to Friday were provided by 14% of hospitals. More private hospitals provided some form of physiotherapy service outside of business hours (91%) than public hospitals (48%). More metropolitan hospitals provided some form of physiotherapy service outside of business hours (90%) than rural/regional hospitals (28%). Few of the hospitals providing sub-acute services had weekend physiotherapy (30%), but the majority of highly acute wards provided weekend physiotherapy (81%). Highly acute wards also provided more hours of service on a Saturday (median 8.1 hours per 30 beds, IQR 0.6-22.5) compared with acute wards (median 0.8 hours per 30 beds, IQR 0.0-2.8). CONCLUSION: There is limited availability of physiotherapy services in Australian hospitals outside of business hours. There are inequalities in physiotherapy services provided outside of business hours, with public, rural/regional and sub-acute facilities receiving fewer services outside of business hours than private, metropolitan and highly acute facilities.

publication date

  • June 2013