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Why Don't We do a Provider Survey?: Tips on Conducting Surveys of Health Care Providers

Sherman SE, Simon BF, Meredith LS, Yano EM, Rubenstein LV. Why Don't We do a Provider Survey?: Tips on Conducting Surveys of Health Care Providers. Paper presented at: VA HSR&D National Meeting; 2002 Feb 1; Washington, DC.


Objective(s): Health care providers play a crucial role in determining the structure and process of care. As a result, countless health services research projects include a provider survey as a major component. In the past, these surveys were relatively easy to conduct. There were fewer competing demands on providers' time. Institutional Review Boards usually did not consider providers to be subjects, so informed consent was typically not necessary. There was little concern that the results could in any way be harmful. Many of these assumptions are no longer true however, and it has become increasingly difficult to conduct provider surveys over the last 5-10 years. The goal of this workshop is too review the current state of the art in conducting provider surveys, including issues related to Institutional Review Board approval, survey design and survey administration. Activities: This workshop is intended as a practical review of issues relevant to conducting surveys of health care providers. The faculty have conducted dozens of different provider surveys over the last 10-20 years and will use this experience to highlight key points in the workshop. The workshop will be split into three sections. The first section, 'If you build it, will they come?,' will cover survey development and review by the local Institutional Review Board. The second section, 'Go the distance,' will cover survey administration and related issues. This would include use of a cover letter and endorsements for your survey, mode of administration, length of survey, incentives, and other aspects. The final section will be an open forum for people to discuss their own provider surveys, either actual or planned. Target audience: Health services researchers interested in designing and conducting provider surveys will benefit from the overview and discussion of procedures in sampling, consenting and surveying health care providers in VA settings. Audience familiarity: The workshop will be designed for the broad health services research community, with low to moderate knowledge of provider survey techniques.

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