Law & Governance
[This article was originally published in Healthcare Policy, 10(1)]
Background: Emphasis on quantity as the main performance measure may be posing challenges for Family Health Team (FHT) practices and organizational structures. This study asked: What healthcare practices and organizational structures are encouraged by the FHT model?
Methods: An exploratory qualitative design guided by discourse analysis was used. This paper presents findings from in-depth semi-structured interviews conducted with seven policy informants and 29 FHT leaders.
Results: Participants report that performance measures value quantity and are not inclusive of the broad scope of attributes that comprise primary healthcare. Performance measures do not appear to be accurately capturing the demand for healthcare services, or the actual amount of services being provided by FHTs. Results suggest that unintended consequences of performance measures may be posing challenges to access and health outcomes.
Conclusion: It is recommended that performance measures be developed and used to measure, support and encourage FHTs to achieve the goals of PHC.
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