Motivators and barriers for paediatricians discharging patients

Erin Turbitt, Marina Kunin, Sarah Gafforini, Gary L. Freed

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to identify motivators and barriers that paediatricians face when discharging patients from outpatient specialty care. A questionnaire was administered to outpatient care paediatricians in Victoria working in one of five speciality public hospital clinics. Questions focused on how important various motivators and barriers were in respondents' decision to discharge a patient from their clinic. Nearly all (91%, n≤74) paediatricians invited to participate provided responses. The factor influencing the greatest proportion of paediatricians in their decision to discharge patients back to primary care was the potential that patients may not receive the required care from a GP. The next most highly rated barrier was that it is too complicated to arrange discharge; rated as a very important influence by one-third of paediatricians (33%, n≤24). Improvements to the discharge process may encourage more paediatricians to discharge patients back to their GP, therefore freeing up appointment slots. This in turn could reduce waiting times for paediatric outpatient clinics in Victoria. The concern from paediatricians that patients may not receive the required care from a GP warrants attention and should be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-287
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian Journal of Primary Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • child health services
  • hospital outpatient clinics
  • patient discharge
  • referral and consultation

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