Hospital selection is a complicated decision-making process. Although patients have expressed greater desire to participate in decision-makings of their healthcare, it can be problematic for them to accumulate large amount of information and using it for making an optimal choice in hospital selection. The aim of this research is to develop a decision engine for hospital selection (DEHS) to support patients while accessing healthcare resources. DEHS applied the analytic hierarchy process and the geographic information system to aggregate different decision factors and spatial information. The results were evaluated through investigating the consistency of the preferences that users inputted, the degree that the results match patient choices, the satisfactions of users, and the helpfulness of the results. Data were collected for 3 months. One hundred and four users visited DEHS and 85.5 % of them used DEHS more than once. Recommendations of the institutes (36 %) was ranked as the primary decision factor that most users concerned. Sixty-seven percent of the sessions searched for hospitals and 33 % for clinics. Eighty-eight percent of the results matched the choices of patients. Eighty-three percent of the users agreed that the suggested results were satisfactory, and 70 % agreed that the information were helpful. The DEHS provides the patients with simple measurements and individualized list of suggested medical institutes, and allows them to make decisions based on credible information and consults the experiences of others at the same time. The suggested results were considered satisfactory and helpful.
Journal of medical systems、vol 38 issue 6、pp. 59-65