, Volume 29, Issue 2 Supplement, pp 607-613
Date: 21 Feb 2014

Getting Performance Metrics Right: A Qualitative Study of Staff Experiences Implementing and Measuring Practice Transformation

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND

Quality improvement is a central goal of the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model, and requires the use of relevant performance measures that can effectively guide comprehensive care improvements. Existing literature suggests performance measurement can lead to improvements in care quality, but may also promote practices that are detrimental to patient care. Staff perceptions of performance metric implementation have not been well-researched in medical home settings.

OBJECTIVE

To describe primary care staff (clinicians and other staff) experiences with the use of performance metrics during the implementation of the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) model of care.

DESIGN

Observational qualitative study; data collection using role-stratified focus groups and semi-structured interviews.

PARTICIPANTS

Two hundred and forty-one of 337 (72 %) identified primary care clinic staff in PACT team and clinic administrative/other roles, from 15 VHA clinics in Oregon and Washington.

APPROACH

Data coded and analyzed using conventional content analysis techniques.

KEY RESULTS

Primary care staff perceived that performance metrics: 1) led to delivery changes that were not always aligned with PACT principles, 2) did not accurately reflect patient-priorities, 3) represented an opportunity cost, 4) were imposed with little communication or transparency, and 5) were not well-adapted to team-based care.

CONCLUSIONS

Primary care staff perceived responding to performance metrics as time-consuming and not consistently aligned with PACT principles of care. The gaps between the theory and reality of performance metric implementation highlighted by PACT team members are important to consider as the medical home model is more widely implemented.