Building on provincial initiatives, in 2005, the Hospital Report Research Collaborative chose to explore the development and implementation of a set of indicators to monitor how hospitals perform in the area of access to care. This process was designed to supplement access-related research initiatives already underway in the province. At its broadest level, measuring access captures the degree to which those seeking care receive health services in a timely and equitable fashion. Access measurement serves strategic goals of performance improvement and also fulfills important equity objectives. Using established Hospital Report processes and keeping in mind the reporting processes being pursued at the provincial level, new access indicators were identified that focused on structural and management indicators associated with more timely access to priority clinical services and diagnostic technologies. Analysis of the results of the SIC survey revealed significant interpretation issues. Although there are no access indicators reported in the 2006 Acute Care Report, the findings from this investigation should be of interest to investigators researching issues of access to care more broadly and are therefore discussed in this report in a summary fashion.
In total, 109 acute care hospitals completed the survey; however, due to data quality problems associated with certain elements of the access-related questions (discussed further on in this analysis), the sample size for individual question elements was occasionally lower than 109.
Jillian Paul, Anna Gagliardi, Neil Seeman, Shevani Mahindra, Paula Blackstien-Hirsch, Adalsteinn D. Brown