Survey Instruments to Assess Patient Experiences With Access and Coordination Across Health Care Settings: Available and Needed Measures

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Abstract

Background:

Improving access can increase the providers a patient sees, and cause coordination challenges. For initiatives that increase care across health care settings, measuring patient experiences with access and care coordination will be crucial.

Objectives:

Map existing survey measures of patient experiences with access and care coordination expected to be relevant to patients accessing care across settings. Preliminarily examine whether aspects of access and care coordination important to patients are represented by existing measures.

Research Design:

Structured literature review of domains and existing survey measures related to access and care coordination across settings. Survey measures, and preliminary themes from semistructured interviews of 10 patients offered VA-purchased Community Care, were mapped to identified domains.

Results:

We identified 31 existing survey instruments with 279 items representing 6 access and 5 care coordination domains relevant to cross-system care. Domains frequently assessed by existing measures included follow-up coordination, primary care access, cross-setting coordination, and continuity. Preliminary issues identified in interviews, but not commonly assessed by existing measures included: (1) acceptability of distance to care site given patient’s clinical situation; (2) burden on patients to access and coordinate care and billing; (3) provider familiarity with Veteran culture and VA processes.

Conclusions:

Existing survey instruments assess many aspects of patient experiences with access and care coordination in cross-system care. Systems assessing cross-system care should consider whether patient surveys accurately reflect the level of patients’ concerns with burden to access and coordinate care, and adequately reflect the impact of clinical severity and cultural familiarity on patient preferences.

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