Let’s get digital – Primary Healthcare Panel Reports

Posted Jun 11, 2019

In March, the Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) released its annual update to its Primary Healthcare Panel Report. This year, family physicians received a pdf copy of the report, and access to the report in a digital format.

With a unique combination of measures not found elsewhere, the Primary Healthcare Panel report covers information for family physicians inside and outside clinic walls. The measures in the report – 24 measures from 12 different administrative data sources, separate from the EMR – are a reminder of clinical guidelines and best practices. The report helps doctors ask the all-important question, what should I focus on?

In 2019, the HQCA with the help and support of our many partners, is moving the Primary Healthcare Panel Reports to a digital format. Going digital offers:

  • Customizable reports
  • Identification and focus on specific clinical and demographic populations
  • Ability to extract data
  • Interactive charts and graphs
  • New ways to evaluate continuity and access

“We are always looking to innovate the report,” says Andrew Neuner, HQCA Chief Executive Officer. “The digital experience allows people to go straight to the measures that matter to their practice. Going to digital reporting gives users interactive tools to dive deeper into their patient data. Users will be able to assess their continuity for populations of interest and view how their panel continuity differs from a comparator, such as another Primary Care Network (PCN).”

Offering feedback to family physicians about their practice, the report shares how the physician’s patient population compares to their peers, their PCN, AHS Zone and the provincial stats. They assist family physicians to understand:

  • when and why patients are going to the Emergency Department
  • whether patients are going to other family physicians – how often and for what services
  • how their patient population compares to their peers:
    • Are their patients older or younger?
    • Are their patients sicker or healthier?
    • How does the social and material deprivation indices compare for their patients to other patients in their PCN and the AHS Zone?
  • how the screening and continuity rates of their panel compare to their peers’ panels

Since 2011, the HQCA has been providing Primary Healthcare Panel Reports upon request to family physicians across the province. This free resource is an invaluable tool to support and inform program planning, panel management, quality improvement, and policy development at the various levels of the primary healthcare system. Physicians can request their panel report here.