For providers

Some frequently asked questions:

Why is the project needed?

A strong, comprehensive, and patient-centered primary care system leads to a healthier population and a more effective health system. Assessing the quality of primary care can be complex but there are many benefits including generating information that care providers, health system planners, and patients need to understand how the primary care system can function best.

Specifically, benefits to providers participating in the Transformation project include the opportunity to gain insight into how their patients feel about the care they receive; this is information that will allow providers to improve their delivery of health care.

What benefits does this Project offer?

As a primary care provider in NS, participation in this project will offer you the opportunity to:

  • Obtain anonymized feedback about the care you provide to patients in your practice and regional level information on primary care performance.
  • Enhance the quality of care and health outcomes for your patients and your region.
  • Be leaders on the cutting edge of performance measurement and reporting in primary care in NS and Canada.
  • Contribute to understanding how the policies and community context of the Capital Health Authority impact primary care performance for patients and providers.
  • Help improve the way individual physicians and the Capital Health Authority deliver care to patients and understanding of how policy context impacts primary care performance for patients and providers.

This project offers patients an opportunity to:

  • Contribute important information about the performance of primary health care that could help improve the quality of care delivery.
  • Patients’ experiences will be an important component of the overall picture of performance in primary health care.

What does participation in the study involve?

  • Participation is voluntary and you have the right withdraw your participation at any time without having to provide a reason and without any consequence.
  • The time commitment to participate is minimal and will involve up to 30 minutes of your time to complete surveys.
  • We will ask staff complete the Team Climate Inventory (optional; 5 min)
  • We will be asking to collect survey data from between 20 to 50 patients in your practice (each survey can take up to 30 minutes to complete). The surveys are about patient experience and reported outcomes of care.
  • Important note: All information collected is de-identified.

How will personal information be protected?

All information collected on the questionnaires is identified only by a Study identification number.  The completed surveys will be stored securely in a locked filing cabinet in a secure office at the Department of Family Medicine, Dalhousie University; electronic data will be stored securely using encryption technology.  Both will be made available only to persons conducting the study.  Only aggregate data will be used in any reports or publications resulting from this study.

Who is participating in the project across Canada?

The Transformation project is studying primary care practices across three different regions of Canada. These regions are: Capital Health, Nova Scotia; Fraser East, British Columbia; and Eastern Ontario Health Unit, Ontario.  Within each region, our goal is to recruit 40 primary care practices. For every practice that participates, our aim is to survey 20-50 patients and up to five clinicians (family physician and/or nurse practitioner). This number of patients and clinicians, linked to primary care practices, is needed in order to detect differences in important pieces of primary care across regions. For example, access to care and continuity of care are factors of primary care that could be measured and compared.  With these results, we can determine what factors enable the best outcomes for patients. In addition, it will allow us to reliably report and compare the performance of health care across regions. We will not report on performance for individual primary care organizations and instead report on regional level information.

Who are the people involved in this project in NS?

The people involved in this project are: you as the primary care provider, your office staff, patients in your practice and the co-leads in each province.

The study leads are:

  • Drs. Fred Burge; Ruth Martin-Misener, Dalhousie University; and Rick Gibson, District Chief, District Department of Family Practice.

Who can I contact for further information?

Stephanie Blackman, Research Coordinator: 902.473.1115 or