Primary health care (PHC) survey data can provide important insight into characteristics of care that are not routinely captured through other data sources. To this end, CIHI developed, in collaboration with Canadian PHC researchers and survey experts, a suite of pan-Canadian PHC surveys—patient, provider and organization—for use by a broad range of users.

The Canadian Primary Health Care Research and Innovation Network (CPHCRIN) is pleased to host three important and related scoping reports on measurement in PHC. Measurement is basic to organizational quality improvement, reporting, accountability, and research to improve our understanding of PHC service delivery. Monitoring information about patients’ experiences is essential to stimulate innovation, track changes in quality, and help Canadians become more informed about their health care system.

Performance measurement in healthcare is aimed at enabling actors throughout the system to make better decisions. Across the globe, many jurisdictions are expanding their use of performance measurement and developing reporting mechanisms – with varying degrees of success. In Canada, multiple provinces, health regions, and organizations have implemented some form of performance measurement and reporting activities. The investments in these activities, to date, have been modest, but are likely to require substantial additional resources in the future.

This scanning study is important as research that assesses the impact of organizational attributes of PHC models is scarce. Given the constant changes that PHC organizations must face, this study addresses an actual need. Accordingly, we searched for available surveys internationally and developed a classification grid of the different organizational attributes measured in these survey tools.