Table 4.

Characteristics of Clinic Organization and Physician Practice That Influence Patients’ Confidence in First-Contact Accessibilitya

CharacteristicMultivariate Regression Coefficient (95% CI)
CI=confidence interval.
Note: the overall adjusted R2=15.7%.
a Results of hierarchical regression modeling showing the impact on achievement of optimal first-contact accessibility. The model controlled for patient age, education, and use of primary care. Only the clinic’s regular patients were included in the analysis (N = 2,725).
b Some 20.3% of the variance in first-contact accessibility was attributed to between-clinic variance, of which 77.1% was explained by the final model.
c Some 3.2% of the variance in first-contact accessibility was attributed to between-physician variance; physician-level characteristics decreased between-clinic variance but not between-physician variance.
Mean first-contact accessibility for all clinics2.30 (2.26 to 2.33)
Clinic-level characteristicsb
Practice culture
    Priority of rapid access (effect of 1-unit increase in the importance at the clinic on a 5-point scale centered on the average for all clinics)0.07 (0.01 to 0.14)
Clinic structure
    More than 10 family physicians (compared with =10)−0.21 (−0.33 to −0.09)
    Presence of a nurse in the clinic (compared with no nurse)0.12 (0.05 to 0.19)
    Availability of 24/7 telephone access other than provincial nurse help line0.30 (0.10 to 0.50)
    No. of other health care establishments with which the clinic has formal, operational agreements (effect of each additional establishment)0.03 (0.00 to 0.06)
Clinic services
    Availability of evening walk-in services0.07 (0.00 to 0.14)
    Availability of weekend walk-in services
    No. of hours open during the week above 55 hours (effect of each additional hour)0.008 (0.006 to 0.010)
Physician-level characteristicsc
Next appointment in less than 1 week (compared with >1 week)0.09 (0.01 to 0.17)
No. of patients seen per hour (each additional patient above the mean of 3.4 patients per hour)0.02 (−0.1 to 0.05)
Manage urgent care by meeting patients at the hospital emergency department−0.17 (−0.25 to −0.09)