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VOLUME 53 | NUMBER 6 | DECEMBER 2018


Directing Improvements in Primary Care Patient Experience through Analysis of Service Quality

Objective: To examine the influence of dimensions of service quality on patient experience of primary care.

Data Sources/Study Setting: Data from the national GP Patient Survey in England 2014/15, with responses from 858,351 patients registered at 7,918 practices.

Study Design: Expert panel and principal component analysis helped identify relevant dimensions of service quality. Regression was then used to examine the relationships between these dimensions and reported patient experience.

Data Collection/Extraction Methods: Aggregated scores for each practice were used, comprising the proportion of positive responses to each element of the study.

Principal Findings: Of eight service quality dimensions identified, six have statistically significant impacts on patient experience but only two have large effects. Patient experience is highly influenced by practice responsiveness and the interactions with the physician. Other dimensions have small or even slightly negative influence. Service quality provided by nurses has negligible effect on patient experience.

Conclusions: To improve patient experience in primary health care, efforts should focus on practice responsiveness and interactions with the physician. Other areas have little influence over patient experience. This suggests a gap in patients’ perspectives on health care, which has policy implications for patient education.

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