Balancing patient priorities for technical and interactional aspects of care in a measure of primary care quality
- Carol Mulder, Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario, Queen's University
- Nadiya Sunderji, Waypoint Center for Mental Health Care, University of Toronto
This study attempts to strike a balance to measure primary care quality in a way that considers what is important to patients, providers and the healthcare system, all at the same time.
The interest in delivering patient-centered primary care implies a need for patient-centered performance measurement. However, the distinction between measures of patient experience and technical aspects of care raises an unanswerable question: if a provider has good performance on technical measures but not on patient experience measures (or vice versa), what can be said about the quality of care?
We surveyed patients to determine the relative priorities of each of a series of primary care measures in the patients’ relationship with their primary care provider. The on-line survey was co-designed with patient co-investigators. The items consisted of 14 primary care quality measures used in pre-existing performance report, 41 additional indicators including a novel set of patient-generated Key Performance Indicators and 17 questions about patients’ demographics, health and socioeconomic status as well as open-ended questions.
Despite challenges, the study suggests that this is feasible. We argue that it is necessary to get better at measuring and finding ever-better ways to put patients at the center of primary care