What policies and practices work best in primary health care?

Date posted: 
Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Most Canadians’ first contact with the health care system is through a visit to a doctor, nurse practitioner, or health team based in our communities. These primary health care practitioners treat and manage a wide variety of health problems, from acute conditions, like colds and flus, to chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Over the last decade, in response to various commissions and reports of poor community-based health care (CBPHC) performance, over $1 billion has been spent on extensive reforms and investments in CBPHC. This has led to many innovations, only some of which have been evaluated.

Data access had been approved for a research project which aims to improve health outcomes for Canadians by measuring and reporting on how the health care system is performing.

“Measuring the performance of the primary health care system involves collecting, analyzing, and reporting information about how it carries out its functions and meets targets,” says Professor Sabrina Wong, Director of the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research at the University of British Columbia. “This project will collect survey data at the patient-, clinician- and practice-level and examine health care utilization and quality of care measures using health administrative data. Contextual information is provided by interviews and focus groups with patients, clinicians, and policy makers. Taken together, this study will examine comprehensively the performance of primary health care across three regions: Fraser East, British Columbia, Eastern Ontario, Ontario, and Central Zone, Nova Scotia and, as such, the results of this work will be of interest to patients, clinicians and policy makers.”

The project is funded by Canadian Institutes for Health Research and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

Population Data BC will link researcher-collected data in BC with data from the BC Ministry of Health, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, BC Vital Statistics Agency, the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC for the project.

Page last revised: June 8, 2016