BackgroundA significant determinant of population health outcomes is the quality of care provided for noncommunicable diseases, obstetric, and pediatric care. We present results on clinical practice quality in these areas as measured among nearly 4,000 providers working at more than 1,000 facilities in 6 Eastern European and Central Asian countries.
MethodsThis study was conducted between March 2011 and April 2013 in Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirov Province in Russia, and Tajikistan. Using a probability proportional-to-size sampling technique, based on number of hospital beds, we randomly selected within each country 42 hospitals and their associated primary health care clinics. Physicians and midwives within each clinical area of interest were randomly selected from each hospital and clinic and asked how they would care for simulated patients using Clinical Performance and Value (CPV) vignettes. Facility administrators were also asked to complete a facility survey to collect structural measures of quality. CPV vignettes were scored on a scale of 0% to 100% for each provider. We used descriptive statistics and t tests to identify significant differences in CPV scores between hospitals and clinics and rural vs. urban facilities, and ANOVA to identify significant differences in CPV scores across countries.
ResultsWe found that quality of care, as concurrently measured by performance on CPV vignettes, was generally poor and widely variable within and between countries. Providers in Kirov Province, Russia, had the highest overall performance, with an average score of 70.8%, while providers in Albania and Tajikistan had the lowest average score, each at 50.8%. The CPV vignettes with the lowest scores were for multiple noncommunicable disease risk factors and birth asphyxia. A considerable proportion (11%) of providers performed well on the CPV vignettes, regardless of country, facility, or structural resources available to them.
ConclusionsCountries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia are challenged by poor performance as measured by clinical care vignettes, but there is potential for provision of high-quality care by a sizable proportion of providers. Large-scale assessments of quality of care have been hampered by the lack of effective measurement tools that provide generalizable and reliable results across diverse economic, cultural, and social settings. The feasibility of quality measurement using CPV vignettes in these 6 countries and the ability to combine results with individual feedback could significantly enhance strategies to improve quality of care, and ultimately population health.
SUBMITTER: Peabody JW