Priority measures for publicly reporting primary care performance: Results of public engagement through deliberative dialogues in 3 Canadian provinces
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OBJECTIVE: While public reporting of hospital-based performance measurement is commonplace, it has lagged in the primary care sector, especially in Canada. Despite the increasing recognition of patients as active partners in the health-care system, little is known about what information about primary care performance is relevant to the Canadian public. We explored patient perspectives and priorities for the public reporting of primary care performance measures. METHODS: We conducted six deliberative dialogue sessions across three Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia). Participants were asked to rank and discuss the importance of collecting and reporting on specific dimensions and indicators of primary care performance. We conducted a thematic analysis of the data. RESULTS: Fifty-six patients participated in the dialogue sessions. Measures of access to primary care providers, communication with providers and continuity of information across all providers involved in a patient's care were identified as the highest priority indicators of primary care performance from a patient perspective. Several common measures of quality of care, such as rates of cancer screening, were viewed as too patient dependent to be used to evaluate the health system or primary care provider's performance. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that public reporting aimed at patient audiences should focus on a nuanced measure of access, incorporation of context reported alongside measurement that is for public audiences, clear reporting on provider communication and a measure of information continuity. Participants highlighted the importance the public places on their providers staying up to date with advances in care.
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