173355 Evaluating community pediatricians' performance by measuring parents' experiences: A tool for policymakers for assessing community pediatric care

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kineret Oren, MBA , Department of Health Systems Management, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel
Ilana Shoham-Vardi, PhD, MPH , Epidemiology, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
Basil Porter, PhD , Department of Health Systems Management, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel
Background: High quality community pediatric care is a cornerstone of efforts to improve health outcomes, control healthcare spending and improve access to care. Parents' perceptions of their experiences with their child's pediatrician are important indicators for evaluating pediatric primary care quality.

Objective: To evaluate parents' perceptions of their child's community pediatrician.

Methods: Telephone interviews with a random national sample of parents of children (n=486) treated by pediatricians in Israel's two largest health plans. Parents were asked to assess their pediatrician's performance based on six key components of primary care on which parents are able to report: continuity, access, contextual knowledge, communication, comprehensiveness and coordination.

Results: Most parents (67.2%) reported high levels of satisfaction with their child's pediatrician. In 10 out of 16 areas of pediatric care that were evaluated, over 75% of parents expressed a high degree of satisfaction with their community pediatrician. However in areas requiring more initiative from the pediatrician (e.g. discussing behavioral issues), as opposed to the traditional management of common problems, most parents expressed a lesser degree of satisfaction (on average 35.7% of parents expressed a high degree of satisfaction). In a multivariable model, the only variables significantly associated with high satisfaction were: ongoing treatment with the same pediatrician, and 2-4 children in the family. Academic education was found to predict a lower level of satisfaction.

Conclusion: Policymakers should consider ways of improving pediatricians' performance in areas with low satisfaction in order to assure high quality comprehensive pediatric care in the community.

Learning Objectives:
1.Recognize the importance of measuring parents' experiences for evaluating community pediatricians' performance. 2.Identify key measures/indicators for evaluating parents' perceptions of pediatric primary care quality.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was part of the team that conducted the research
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.