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How public reporting of prescription quality indicators influence prescribing practices? A survey of general practitioners

23 Jul 2015

Rationale, aims and objectives

Public reporting of performance data is one of the most popular topics in health care field. The aim of this study was to investigate the transparency mechanism, that is, how public reporting influenced general practitioners' (GPs) prescribing practices.


GPs who had the license to prescribe medicine of all 10 primary care institutions were surveyed. Data were collected by an instrument, which exhibited satisfactory reliability and validity (Cronbach's alpha > 0.7; average variance extracted > 0.5; composite reliability > 0.7). Data analysis was conducted by structural equation model.


The results showed that GPs' perceived value (GP's overall assessment of the worth of the public reporting) and attitude (the psychological reaction to public reporting) had a significantly direct effect on behavioural intention (r = 0.28; r = 0.36), and were affected by information accessibility (r = 0.63; r = 0.32). Attitude had a significant effect on perceived value(r = 0.45). Perceived risk (the perceptions of the possible loss due to public reporting, e.g. decreasing their income) did not have a significant relationship with information accessibility, attitude and behavioural intention(r = −0.09; r = 0.01; r = −0.07).


The information accessibility, perceived value and attitude have strong effects on prescribing practices of GPs, whereas perceived risk did not play a role in influencing the prescribing practices. Policymakers need to improve the accessibility of prescription quality indicators and pay attention to the perceived values and attitudes of GPs. Policymakers also need to strengthen the risk education of GPs and attach incentives to transparent regulation.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice