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Patient experience linked to QOF achievement

8 November 2012

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Practices that deliver a ‘negative’ patient experience perform less well in QOF scores, it is claimed

A report by think tank The Kings Fund Improving GP services in England: Exploring the association between quality of care and the experience of patients found a patient’s happiness with their GP services – and in particular ease of access – can affect their use of and interaction with the practice and in turn affect the quality of their care.

After examining data for more than 8,000 general practices in England, it is claimed general practices that deliver a positive patient experience have higher QOF outcome scores.

Those practices that perform badly on both clinical outcome measures and patient experience – with some exceptions – are “more likely” to be located in London and deprived areas.

It is said that such practices face “special challenges” both in terms of having populations with “greater and more complex health care needs”, and because they often have to deliver services from less well developed premises.

Veena Raleigh, senior fellow, health policy at The Kings Fund and co-author of the report said it is “important” for practice staff to “routinely” review information about how they are performing on both clinical quality measures and patient feedback, to get a more “rounded view of practice performance”.
“This will offer them additional insights into where the potential for improvement lies, enabling them to learn from the high achievers and develop locally tailored solutions,” she said.

“General practice in the UK is acclaimed internationally for providing a free and universally accessible health care service in the community. By improving performance to the level of the best, and ensuring that all patients have a positive experience of using services, general practice can do even better.”