Measurement of Primary Care: Report on the Johns Hopkins Primary Care Assessment Tool

Mar 2013
Renewed interest in the Primary Health Care-PHC agenda is a common element of the majority of recent health system reforms throughout Latin America and the Caribbean-LAC. Strengthening of PHC has been recognized as a promising solution to address the major challenges the Region's health systems face. As governments are making substantive long term investments in PHC oriented healthcare reforms, there is a requirement for accountability and increased transparency and reporting on the results of these initiatives. As a consequence, implementation of PHC strategies needs to be accompanied with mechanisms to collect data that will allow assessment of the extent to which primary care processes are being implemented and on their impact of quality, efficiency, cost, equity and consumer satisfaction. The Johns Hopkins Primary Care Assessment Tool or PCAT is amongst the instruments currently available to assess performance of PHC in several dimensions and from the perspective of users, practitioners, and systems. The purpose of this technical document is to provide a description of this instrument including its composition, measurement, functions, uses, and requirements to deploy the tool in practical applications and to discuss the challenges and opportunities to use the tool in the context of the LAC Region.