Improving access to primary health care is among top priorities for many countries. Advanced Access (AA) is one of the most recommended models to improve timely access to care. Over the past 15 years, the AA model has been implemented in Canada, but the implementation of AA varies substantially among providers and clinics. Continuous quality improvement (CQI) approaches can be used to promote organizational change like AA implementation. While CQI fosters the adoption of evidence-based practices, knowledge gaps remain, about the mechanisms by which QI happens and the sustainability of the results. The general aim of the study is to analyse the implementation and effects of CQI cohorts on AA for primary care clinics. Specific objectives are: 1) Analyse the process of implementing CQI cohorts to support PHC clinics in their improvement of AA. 2) Document and compare structural organisational changes and processes of care with respect to AA within study groups (intervention and control). 3) Assess the effectiveness of CQI cohorts on AA outcomes. 4) Appreciate the sustainability of the intervention for AA processes, organisational changes and outcomes.
Cluster-controlled trial allowing for a comprehensive and rigorous evaluation of the proposed intervention 48 multidisciplinary primary care clinics will be recruited to participate. 24 Clinics from the intervention regions will receive the CQI intervention for 18 months including three activities carried out iteratively until the clinic’s improvement objectives are achieved: 1) reflective sessions and problem priorisation; 2) plan-do-study-act cycles; and 3) group mentoring. Clinics located in the control regions will receive an audit-feedback report on access. Complementary qualitative and quantitative data reflecting the quintuple aim will be collected over a period of 36 months.
This research will contribute to filling the gap in the generalizability of CQI interventions and accelerate the spread of effective AA improvement strategies while strengthening local QI culture within clinics. This research will have a direct impact on patients’ experiences of care.
This mixed-method approach offers a unique opportunity to contribute to the scientific literature on large-scale CQI cohorts to improve AA in primary care teams and to better understand the processes of CQI.
Clinical Trials: NCT05715151.