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Little Correlation Between Care Quality, Patient Experience

Strongest correlations with clinical quality were seen for patient assessments of access

FRIDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- There is little correlation between quality of care assessed by clinical measures versus by patient experience, according to research published in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Nadia R. Llanwarne, M.B.Ch.B., from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted practice-level analyses using the national General Practice Patient Survey to gauge patient experience and the national pay-for-performance scheme Quality and Outcomes Framework to assess clinical quality.

The researchers found that, while all the correlations between clinical quality summary scores and patient survey scores were positive, and most were statistically significant, the strength of the associations was weak. The highest correlation coefficient reached 0.18, but more than one-half were 0.11 or less. Patient-reported access scores (telephone access, 0.16; availability of urgent appointments, 0.15; ability to book ahead, 0.18; ability to see preferred doctor, 0.17) and overall satisfaction (0.15) were most correlated with clinical quality.

"Although there are associations between clinical quality and measures of patient experience, the two domains of care quality remain predominantly distinct," the authors write.

One author assisted in the development of the Quality and Outcomes Framework.

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