Improving Service Quality in Primary Care

Denise M. Kennedy, Jon T. Nordrum, Frederick D. Edwards, Richard J. Caselli, Leonard L. Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A framework for improving health care service quality was implemented at a 12-provider family medicine practice in 2010. A national patient satisfaction research vendor conducted weekly telephone surveys of 840 patients served by that practice: 280 patients served in 2009, and 560 served during 2010 and 2011. After the framework was implemented, the proportion of “excellent” ratings of provider service (the highest rating on a 5-point scale) increased by 5% to 9%, most notably thoroughness (P =.04), listening (P =.04), and explaining (P =.04). Other improvements included prompt test result notification and telephone staff courtesy (each by 10%, P =.02), as well as teamwork (by 8%, P =.04). Overall quality increased by 10% (P =.01), moving the practice from the 68th to the 91st percentile of medical practices in the research vendor’s database. Improvements in patient satisfaction suggest that this framework may be useful in value-based payment models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Quality
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 21 2015


  • continuous improvement model
  • patient satisfaction
  • service quality improvement
  • value-based purchasing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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