Usual source of care and the quality of medical care experiences: A cross-sectional survey of patients from a taiwanese community

Jenna Tsai, Leiyu Shi, Wei Lung Yu, Lydie A. Lebrun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: This study used a recent patient survey to examine the relationship between having a usual source of care (USC) and the quality of ambulatory medical care experiences in Taiwan, where there is universal health insurance coverage. RESEARCH DESIGN, SUBJECTS, AND MEASURES: The study design was a cross-sectional survey of 879 patients in Taichung County, Taiwan. Children and adults visiting hospital-based physicians were included. Quality of care was measured using items from the Primary Care Assessment Tool (PCAT), representing 7 ambulatory medical care domains: first contact (ie, access and utilization), longitudinality (ie, ongoing care), coordination (ie, referrals and information systems), comprehensiveness (ie, services available and provided), family centeredness, community orientation, and cultural competence. USC was defined based on responses to 3 survey items from the PCAT. RESULTS: Having a USC was significantly associated with higher quality of medical care experiences. Specifically, having a USC was associated with improved accessibility and utilization, ongoing care, coordination of referrals, and healthcare providersfamily centeredness and cultural competence. However, having a USC was not strongly related with comprehensiveness of services, coordination of information systems, or healthcare providerscommunity orientation. CONCLUSION: In a region with universal health insurance, patients with a USC reported higher quality of medical care experiences compared with those without a USC. Beyond the provision of health insurance coverage, efforts to improve quality of care should include policies promoting USC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-634
Number of pages7
JournalMedical care
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • ambulatory care
  • quality care
  • usual source of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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