The quality of health care, including primary care, is influenced by the context in which care is delivered. We investigated the association between primary care practice location and patient experience with a focus on differences between hospital-based practices and community-based office practices.
We conducted a cross-sectional study in a primary care practice-based research network in Japan among 25 participating facilities: 6 small and medium-sized hospitals and 19 community-based offices. We assessed patient experience of primary care using a Japanese version of Primary Care Assessment Tool (JPCAT), which comprises 6 domains: first contact, longitudinality, coordination, comprehensiveness with respect to services available, comprehensiveness with respect to services provided, and community orientation.
Analyses were based on 1,725 primary care patients. After adjustment for possible confounders and clustering within facilities, compared with community-based office practices, hospital-based practices were associated with poorer patient experience of community orientation (adjusted mean difference = -5.76; 95% CI, -10.35 to -1.17). In contrast, hospital-based practices were associated with comparatively better patient experience of first contact (adjusted mean difference = 15.43; 95% CI, 5.13 to 25.72).
Our study elucidates differences in the strengths and challenges of primary care between hospital-based practices and community-based office practices, with a focus on patient centeredness. Improving community orientation in hospital-based practices and improving accessibility, including out-of-hours care, in community-based office practices may enhance the quality of primary care and promote standardization of care across settings.

© 2020 Annals of Family Medicine, Inc.