SIIReN - System Integration & Innovation Research Network

Primary Health Care System

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"Development of a National Framework for Performance Measurement in Primary Care "
Presenters:  Brenda Tripper, Canadian Institutes of Health Information (CIHI) and Bill Hogg, University of Ottawa
January 25, 2012


“You can’t manage what you don’t measure” is a management adage that has been embraced by the health care research community. Without the ability to assess the current performance of a health system, determining if it is improving, getting worse or whether policy changes and investments are having an effect will remain challenging at best. Despite major investments in primary care reform little has been done to build capacity to measure and report on the performance of PHC activities provincially or nationally.

We are an interdisciplinary, cross-jurisdictional team working on community based PHC measurement. Building on our past work using complementary methods of PHC performance measurement we are aiming to provide a comprehensive portrait of performance of the PHC sector. Our research team has developed a draft performance measurement framework grounded in collecting patient, provider, organizational, and clinical data within practices. This work is now ready for extension to a systems level to make inferences within geographically defined areas such as regions and provinces. Currently we are considering sites for this systems-level extension in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and British Columbia, and are engaged in the process of identifying the resources and challenges in these provinces.

This is a unique opportunity for the ministry to learn about the potential opportunities for collaboration with PHC stakeholders across Canada to develop innovative and feasible approaches for measuring PHC performance, which will allow for the ongoing improvement of PHC in Canadian health jurisdictions.

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