Do employees benefit from collaborations between out of hours general practitioners and emergency departments?

E.S. Gils- van Rooij, Sjoerd Broekman, Dinny de Bakker, Bert Meijboom, C.J. Yzermans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In an attempt to redirect patients who are inappropriately attending hospital emergency departments (ED) and in doing so provide the right care at the right place, out-of-hours GP (General Practitioner) services and EDs increasingly collaborate in Urgent Care Collaborations (UCCs). Work satisfaction is an important factor in analysing the impact of this organisational change. The objective of this study is, firstly, to discover if there is a difference in the employee experiences between those working in UCCs and those in traditional out-of-hours services in which EDs and out-of-hours GP services operate separately (i.e. “usual care”). Secondly, we would like to identify which factors affect employees’ experiences in these settings.

This study followed a cross-sectional study design, comparing usual care with UCCs. Data regarding employee experiences were collected from physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, medical assistants and front desk personnel, by means of a questionnaire with scales regarding quality, workload and co-operation between the out-of-hours GP service and ED. Independent samples t-tests were used to determine mean differences between the settings. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed to test which items affected the perceived quality, workload and co-operation.

The results showed that mutual co-operation alone was perceived as significantly better in UCCs compared to usual care. If divided between employers, no differences were found in the employee experiences working in out-of-hours GP services. ED employees in UCCs experienced a significantly better co-operation with their GP colleagues than their peers in the usual care setting, but also a higher workload. Remarkably, ED employees were less satisfied in general. The multiple regression model showed that perceived quality, workload and co-operation were interrelated. Co-operation was the only aspect that was rated higher in the UCC setting.

While perceived quality is equal and co-operation between out-of-hours GP service and ED is better, the objective and perceived ED workload was higher in UCCs compared to usual care. Though UCCs relieve the pressure on EDs concerning the number of patients, they seem to aggravate the workload. EDs need to be careful not to excessively adjust staff capacity when responding to lower numbers of patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number121
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Adult
  • After-Hours Care
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • General Practitioners
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Social Behavior
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workload


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