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What are the impacts of being formally enrolled with a GP on continuity and integration of care? Evidence from a comparison of Quebec and British Columbia

ResponsablesErin Strumpf, Heather Davidson, Antoine Groulx, Laurie Goldsmith, Christine Loignon, Kimberlyn McGrail

Some Canadian provinces have included patient enrolment with a GP as a foundation of their efforts to make primary health care more accessible, more continuous, and of higher quality. The idea behind patient enrolment – also called rostering or registration – is that all patients have a family doctor who takes responsibility for their care. Other provinces are currently considering such programs, while still others think they are not the best way to ensure accessible, timely health care for Canadians. Unfortunately, little is known about the actual benefits and costs of patient enrolment policies in Canada. This research project brings together patients, providers, decision makers and researchers to provide a better understanding of how patient enrolment affects patient experiences, continuity and quality of care, and policy-relevant outcomes that are important for the sustainability of our health care systems. Because Quebec and British Columbia have already implemented patient enrolment programs, and because those programs are designed quite differently, we focus on those two provinces. We will talk to patients and family doctors to hear about their experiences and their priorities. We will also use health care data and statistical methods designed to evaluate policy interventions to understand what patient enrolment means for quality and continuity of care. We will try to understand if patient enrolment works better for some patients than for others, paying special attention to Canadians who need and use the health care system most. Our results will facilitate future cross-provincial studies of health care policy innovations and will support decision makers to build improved, patient-oriented, integrated health care and social services systems.



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