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Are Physician Productivity and Quality of Care Related?

Menachemi, Nir; Yeager, Valerie A.; Welty, Elisabeth; Manzella, Bryn

The Journal for Healthcare Quality (JHQ): March/April 2015 - Volume 37 - Issue 2 - p 93–101
doi: 10.1111/jhq.12038
Original Article

Abstract: This study examines the relationship between clinical quality of care and physician productivity in the public sector clinical setting. This longitudinal study takes place in Jefferson County, Alabama using data from six public sector clinics. Data representing 21 physicians across 13 consecutive quarters representing 44,765 person observations were analyzed. Four variables were selected to represent quality of care for this pediatric patient population; two of which pertained to antibiotic use and two pertained to asthma care. Findings from multivariate analyses examining each quality of care measure and controlling for other visit and practice characteristics indicate that three of the four quality measures were significantly related to productivity. Specifically, the percent of asthma patients with documented asthma severity classification was negatively related to physician productivity (ß = −.24, p = .04), although the magnitude of this relationship was small. The percent of asthma patients prescribed an inhaled corticosteroid who also had a severity classification was negatively related to physician productivity (ß = −.23, p = .03) and the percent of patients prescribed oral antibiotics was marginally negatively related to physician productivity (ß = −.09, p = .09). In general, findings suggest that a relationship exists between quality of healthcare and physician productivity. Future research should continue to examine this relationship across other disciplines and healthcare settings.

For more information on this article, contact Nir Menachemi at .

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2015 National Association for Healthcare Quality
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