Abstract

Objective: Primary care services form the foundation of modern healthcare systems, yet the breadth and complexity of services and diversity of patient populations may present challenges for creating comprehensive primary care information systems. Our objective is to develop regional-level information on the performance of primary care in Canada. 

Methods: A scoping review was conducted to identify existing initiatives in primary care performance measurement and reporting across 11 countries. The results of this review were used by our international team of primary care researchers and clinicians to propose an approach for regional-level primary care reporting.

Results: We found a gap between conceptual primary care performance measurement frameworks in the peer-reviewed literature and real-world primary care performance measurement  and reporting activities. We did not find a conceptual framework or analytic approach that could readily form the foundation of a regional-level primary care information system. Therefore, we propose an approach to reporting comprehensive and actionable performance information according to widely accepted core domains of primary care as well as different patient population groups

Conclusions: An approach that bridges the gap between conceptual frameworks and real-world performance measurement and reporting initiatives could address some of the potential pitfalls of existing ways of presenting performance information (i.e., by single diseases or by age). This approach could produce meaningful and actionable information on the quality of primary care services.