Can patient experience scores be used to predict quality inspection ratings?

In a study published by BMJ, Picker investigated the patient feedback relationship between the General Practice Patient Survey (GPPS) and Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections of practices. The aim was to understand if there was an association between patient views and regulator ratings of quality. More specifically, Picker sought to understand whether patients’ self-reported experiences of primary care can predict CQC inspection ratings of GP practices by:

  • Measuring the association between GPPS results and CQC inspection ratings of GP practices
  • Building a predictive model of GP practice quality ratings that use GPPS results
  • Evaluating the predictive model for risk stratification

The research has the potential to have major implications for policy-makers and regulators. Inspection-led assessments of provider quality are onerous and expensive to conduct. And so, even small improvements in the efficiency of inspections have potential cost-savings for the system. It could also reduce the unmeasured, but likely substantial, costs to provider staff preparing for inspection visits.

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