Halley MC, Rendle KA, Gugerty B, Lau DT, Luft HS., Vital Health Stat 2. 2017 Nov;(176):1-18., 2017 Nov 01
Objective This report examines ways to improve National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) data on practice and physician characteristics in multispecialty group practices.
Methods From February to April 2013, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) conducted a pilot study to observe the collection of the NAMCS physician interview information component in a large multispecialty group practice. Nine physicians were randomly sampled using standard NAMCS recruitment procedures; eight were eligible and agreed to participate. Using standard protocols, three field representatives conducted NAMCS physician induction interviews (PIIs) while trained ethnographers observed and audio recorded the interviews. Transcripts and field notes were analyzed to identify recurrent issues in the data collection process.
Results The majority of the NAMCS items appeared to have been easily answered by the physician respondents. Among the items that appeared to be difficult to answer, three themes emerged: (a) physician respondents demonstrated an inconsistent understanding of "location" in responding to questions; (b) lack of familiarity with administrative matters made certain questions difficult for physicians to answer; and (c) certain primary care-oriented questions were not relevant to specialty care providers.
Conclusions Some PII survey questions were challenging for physicians in a multispecialty practice setting. Improving the design and administration of NAMCS data collection is part of NCHS' continuous quality improvement process.
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