Primary Care Quality
Primary Care Quality is a quality system developed for the primary care setting. The system consists of a number of national quality indicators, a specification for user-friendly feedback and a national function receiving, calculating and returning statistical reference values.
Support for local learning and improvement
The main purpose is simple follow-up and continuous quality improvement for doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psycholgists and other primary care professionals. The indicators are developed by representatives for the primary care professions and are created to give meaningful information and support quality improvement without causing any extra administrative work.
At the health center, updated data from one’s own patients is provided, and national average numbers are given as a reference. Individual patients are possible to find and follow at the local level.
National statistics provide background and stimulate reflection
The data is collected automatically, based on existing stored data from the electronic medical records, and are transferred to a national service function for calculation of average values, and then returned to the local level. These statistics will also be available as a basis for discussions on overall aims and challenges to primary care in Sweden, and can be obtained through the national website for health care data:Vården i siffror
Funded as a quality registry by the SALAR and professional organizations
The professional development has been going on for several years, funded by the joint investment on national quality registries by the Swedish government and the county councils during 2012–2017.
A traditional quality registry was not possible to create for Swedish primary care, due to problems with integrity and data volumes, but the overall aim is the same. The system is now linked to the work on quality management run by the SALAR, supported by the professional colleges and associations. It is now funded by the Swedish county councils.
By connecting to Primary Care Quality Sweden, county councils give their health centers the opportunity to use relevant quality indicators. The connection provides three joint opportunities and commitments:
- Reporting Data must be delivered to the national statistics database, according to given specifications.
- Returning The calculated reference values provided by the national statistics database must continuously be returned to the health centers, according to given specifications. This means that the returned data must be included in a user friendly and continuously updated presentation, where reference values are shown side by side with the health center’s own data. A possibility to find and follow individual patients must also be provided.
- Using Data from the indicators can be used in quality improvement work and as a starting point for dialogue, evaluations and operational planning.
Primary Care Quality is described in the following articles
Arvidsson E, Dahlin S, Anell A. Conditions and barriers for quality improvement work: a qualitative study of how professionals and health centre managers experience audit and feedback practices in Swedish primary care. BMC family practice. 2021;22(1):113.
Larsen AT, Klausen MB, Højgaard B. Primary Health Care in the Nordic Countries Comparative Analysis and Identification of Challenges. VIVE - The Danish Center for Social Science Research; 2020.
More about Primary Care Quality Sweden
Introduction video with demonstration of Primary Care Quality Sweden.