Patient experiences of primary care quality amongst different types of health care facilities in central Vietnam

Nguyen Thi Hoa, Nguyen Minh Tam, Anselme Derese, Jeffrey F. Markuns, Wim Peersman
2019 BMC Health Services Research  
Patient experience with primary health care services can vary markedly between different types of health care facilities, even within the same country setting. Given known benefits of high quality primary health care, the performance of these facilities may significantly impact population health. The aim of this study was to compare the quality of primary care in different types of health facilities as experienced by Vietnamese consumers. Methods: 1662 people who utilized primary health care
more » ... mary health care services at least once over the past two years in various types of facilities in central Vietnam were surveyed in a cross-sectional study using the Vietnamese version of the Primary Care Assessment Tool (VN PCAT-AE) to assess overall primary care quality as well as several different domains of high quality primary care services. Results: Commune health centers were associated with the highest overall primary care quality (PCAT expanded score 21.07, p < 0.001) as well as high scores in nearly all individual domains of primary care quality experienced by consumers compared with other types of facilities. Conversely, private facilities such as private clinics and pharmacies were rated lowest overall (PCAT expanded score 18.45, p < 0.05 and 16.90, p < 0.001 respectively). District hospitals and other government hospitals (PCAT expanded score 20.10 and 19.72 respectively) were reported as the best quality in comprehensiveness of available services (p < 0.001). Polyclinics performed quite well in comprehensiveness of services available (3.11) and first contact-access (2.79) but less so in other domains, especially in cultural competency (1.87). Conclusions: The high quality of primary care services experienced by consumers in commune health centers compared with other facilities gives Vietnam ample reason to promote greater use of these community-based primary care facilities. Populations may benefit most from building and strengthening grassroots networks of such community-based health centers as an effective solution for overcrowding at hospitals while simultaneously providing better overall health outcomes.
doi:10.1186/s12913-019-4089-y fatcat:fv2makpnlfh2jaoj7gxgs67t6q