Laying the Foundation for Primary Care Performance Measurement in Ontario

Brian Hutchison, Michelle Rey, Wissam Haj-Ali, Saurabh Ingale
Health Quality Ontario


Ontario lacks a system-wide, sustainable approach to measure primary care performance, an essential requirement for managing and improving performance at the practice and system levels. Health Quality Ontario (HQO) is collaborating with other stakeholders through the Ontario Primary Care Performance Measurement (PCPM) Steering Committee to provide leadership on a coordinated and sustainable approach to measure and report on primary care performance.


An environmental scan was conducted to examine the current state of primary care performance measurement in Ontario, throughout Canada, and internationally. Informed by the scan, aspects of primary care performance across nine domains were identified as potentially valuable to measure on a regular basis to inform decision-making at the practice and system levels.

A Primary Care Performance Measurement Summit was held with senior leaders from key primary care data partners and information users in Ontario in 2012. Summit attendees ranked the potential areas of performance measurement through a voting process. A survey will be circulated among primary care stakeholders to validate and further refine the initial set of potential performance measurement priorities.

Draft Primary Care Performance Measurement Framework

(see .pdf)

Next steps

Guided by the Steering Committee, the Summit results, and broad stakeholder engagement through the stakeholder survey, two sets of performance measurement priorities, one addressing the practice/organizational level and the other addressing the system (community, regional, provincial) level, will be finalized in summer 2013. Supported by the Steering Committee, system and practice working groups will then be established to propose specific measures corresponding to the identified performance measurement priorities and a technical working group will identify appropriate data sources and make recommendations regarding the infrastructure needed to support data collection, analysis and reporting.


The emerging set of performance measures, developed through broad stakeholder engagement, will be an important step toward a comprehensive, coherent performance measurement framework to support the planning, management and continuous improvement of primary care in Ontario at both the practice and system levels. Over time, the framework will be updated in response to changing performance measurement priorities and significant changes in the province’s strategic direction.

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Health Canadacihr logo1This initiative has been generously funded by grants from Health Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the funders.