There are a number of measures to assess aspects of primary care, but a new measure breaks new ground by combining experiences of patients, clinicians, and payers and allowing the most informed reporter--the patient--to assess vital primary care functions that are often missed.
Researchers asked crowd-sourced samples of 412 patients, 525 primary care clinicians and 85 health care payers to describe what provides value in primary care, then asked 70 primary care and health services experts for additional insights. A multidisciplinary team analyzed these qualitative data to develop a set of patient-reported items.
The resulting Person-Centered Primary Care Measure concisely represents the broad scope of primary care, with 11 domains each represented by a single item: accessibility, comprehensiveness, continuity, integration, coordination, relationship, advocacy, family context, community context, health promotion, and goal-oriented care. While existing measures evaluate the experience of care delivery based only on clinical processes and outcomes, the new measure focuses on care aspects that contribute to patient perceptions of the integrating, prioritizing, and personalizing functions of primary care.
This ability to assess primary care as a whole and through the lens of the patient makes the Person-Centered Primary Care Measure both unique and meaningful, the authors state. They anticipate that the new measure, which reduces measurement burden, will complement existing measures and can be used in research and quality improvement to understand the mechanisms by which primary care affects outcomes for patients, health care systems and populations.