Table 4. Qualitative Data Summary from Focus Group Interviews
1. Clinic diversity1.1 PCP assignment accuracyClinics have different systems for ensuring that PCP fields are frequently updated and accurate.
1.2 SchedulingClinics place variable importance on scheduling patients with their PCP rather than the first available provider.
1.3 Location/typeUniversity, FQHC, and rural clinics may have intrinsic differences in patient population and structure.
2. Provider diversity2.1 Provider typePhysician (MD/DO) and mid-level (PA/FNP) providers may have differences in both scope of practice and approach to care.
2.2 Provider sexFemale and male providers may have differences in both scope of practice and approach to care.
2.3 Scope of practiceProviders who provide maternity care, inpatient care, sports medicine, suboxone, resident precepting, etc., may have different UPC patterns than providers who solely conduct outpatient continuity clinics.
2.4 Nonclinical dutiesProviders with more academic/administrative responsibilities may have different UPC patterns than those with strictly clinical practices.
2.5 Clinic schedulingProviders with more open schedules or night/weekend clinics may have different UPC patterns than those with primarily prescheduled daytime clinics.
2.6 Location of residencyProviders who trained at OHSU may have more developed panels for their year in practice than providers who trained elsewhere.
3. Patient diversity3.1 Panel demographicsSES, sex, race, ethnicity, age, medical complexity, visit frequency, and other panel demographics are likely to influence UPC for a given provider.
3.2 Importance of continuity to patientSome patients frequently change providers for a variety of reasons, making their PCP field relatively arbitrary.
4. Visit type4.1 Acute careAcute care visits may not be as important as chronic or ongoing care in terms of actual continuity.
4.2 Nonoffice visitsCurrent calculation of UPC does not take into account phone, E-mail, or MyChart encounters, where a meaningful interaction occurs without face-to-face contact.
5. Non-PCP continuity5.1 Team continuityPatients may value continuity with a team of providers more than with a specific provider.
5.2 Clinic continuityPatients may value continuity with a particular clinic more than with an individual or team of providers.
5.3 Family continuityContinuity across families may be more important than continuity with individual patients.
6. Absences6.1 Planned vs. unplannedAre all absences from clinic a diversion from continuity (eg, deliveries, inpatient), or is it just unplanned absences (eg, illness)?
6.2 New parent leaveSpecific extended absence that may behave differently than other absences in terms of continuity.
  • DO, osteopathic doctor; FNP, family nurse practitioner; FQHC, federally qualified health center; MD, medical doctor; OHSU, Oregon Health & Sciences University; PA, physician assistant; PCP, primary care provider; UPC, Usual Provider Continuity Index.