Attitudes and Opinions of Canadian Nephrologists Toward Continuous Quality Improvement Options
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Background and objectives: A shift to holding individual physicians accountable for patient outcomes, rather than facilities, is intuitively attractive to policy makers and to the public. We were interested in nephrologists' attitudes to, and awareness of, quality metrics and how nephrologists would view a potential switch from the current model of facility-based quality measurement and reporting to publically available reports at the individual physician level. Design setting participants and measurements: The study was conducted using a web-based survey instrument (Online Appendix 1). The survey was initially pilot tested on a group of 8 nephrologists from across Canada. The survey was then finalized and e-mailed to 330 nephrologists through the Canadian Society of Nephrology (CSN) e-mail distribution list. The 127 respondents were 80% university based, and 33% were medical/dialysis directors. Results: The response rate was 43%. Results demonstrate that 89% of Canadian nephrologists are engaged in efforts to improve the quality of patient care. A minority of those surveyed (29%) had training in quality improvement. They feel accountable for this and would welcome the inclusion of patient-centered metrics of care quality. Support for public reporting as an effective strategy on an individual nephrologist level was 30%. Conclusions: Support for public reporting of individual nephrologist performance was low. The care of nephrology patients will be best served by the continued development of a critical mass of physicians trained in patient safety and quality improvement, by focusing on patient-centered metrics of care delivery, and by validating that all proposed new methods are shown to improve patient care and outcomes.