Enhancing Indigenous Health as a result of the COVID‑19 Pandemic: Developing Indigenous Patient Experience Indicators of High Quality Virtual Primary Care

Roach, Pamela Marie | $199,321

Alberta The University of Calgary 2021 CIHR Other

In response to the COVID‑19 pandemic, rapid shifts in the delivery of primary health care (PHC) services to virtual care models occurred in Canada. Insufficient access to primary care may undermine both the capacity to prevent transmission of COVID‑19 infection, as well as effectively manage pre-existing chronic diseases. Moreover, relational factors necessary to provide high quality PHC may be inhibited by virtual care provision. This research aims to develop and test a tool measuring ‘patient experiences of care’ that is oriented to monitoring and improving the quality of virtual primary care contacts with Indigenous patients. Mixed-methods will be used to a) generate qualitative data; b) develop and pilot a tool; and c) refine the tool after piloting. Semi-structured interviews with Indigenous individuals accessing virtual PHC and their care providers will be completed to elicit and develop key indicators of healthcare quality. Data generated will be integrated with Indigenous primary care quality of care frameworks and other health care quality tools to generate a new tool specific to virtual care provision. Patient, provider, and systems lead perspectives will be analyzed using Framework Analysis to highlight experiences and understandings of chronic disease management for Indigenous populations during COVID-19. Survey development will integrate findings from interviews and published health service utilization data with existing Indigenous primary care health access models and health quality frameworks to generate a survey tool. The developed tool will be piloted with approximately 20-30 Indigenous patients accessing providers through virtual care and approximately 15-20 health care providers. This work will facilitate the improvement of virtual primary care provision for Indigenous patients arising from COVID‑19 by developing a robust patient experience measure based on indicators of Indigenous health, grounded in patient and provider experiences.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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