New tool for reporting and analyzing high-quality general practice care in Australia
Western Sydney University is leading a study which aims to develop the first comprehensive, evidence-based, professionally endorsed tool for analyzing and reporting high-quality general practice in Australia.
Published today in PLOS ONE, the paper presents the framework of a three-round survey engaging general practice experts—including general practitioners, practice nurses, practice managers and primary health network staff—to reach a consensus on a core set of relevant and feasible high-quality performance indicator for GPs.
The indicators and measures included in the survey focus on: accountability to patients ( e.g., providing person-centered, compressive care); professional accountability ( e.g., staff training and data-enabled practice quality improvement); accountability to the community ( e.g., the provision of equitable and accessible care) and accountability to society ( e.g., the provision and distribution of health resources.)
Lead researcher, Dr. Phyllis Lau from Western Sydney University' School of Medicine and Translational Health Research Institute (THRI ) said a consistent measure of high-quality GP care is vital.
"High-quality general practice has been demonstrated to provide cost-effective, equitable health care and improve health outcomes. Yet there is currently not a set of agreed comprehensive indicators to measure this in Australia. This study aims to achieve consensus on relevant and feasible indicators and measures for the Australian context.
"This is needed for general practices to deliver high-quality health care, that is funded appropriately and enables improved quality, equity and cost-effectiveness of the Australian healthcare system. Findings from this study will contribute to the design of an assessment tool of high-quality general practice that would enable future primary health care reforms in Australia," she said.
The survey, which aims to recruit a minimum of 80 participants, will consist of three survey rounds and gauge the relevance and feasibility of 79 evidence-based indicators and their corresponding 128 measures of high-quality general practice.
The protocol will add to current knowledge of the translation of performance guidelines into quality practice across complex clinical settings and in a variety of different contexts in Australian general practice. It will also expand on previous work to develop Primary Health Care quality indicators which have focused on specific areas of interest, to create a universally agreed comprehensive high-quality indicators in Australia that would identify, measure and reward high-quality general practice.
More information: Phyllis Lau et al, Protocol for a Delphi consensus study to select indicators of high-quality general practice to achieve Quality Equity and Systems Transformation in Primary Health Care (QUEST-PHC) in Australia, PLOS ONE (2022). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0268096