CHP Seminar – Quality of Primary Care in Rural China: Evidence from Mystery Patients (Dr. Sean Sylvia)

Dr. Sean Sylvia

A strong primary care system is central to achieving health system quality, efficiency, and equity. In recognition of this, recent and ongoing reforms have sought to strengthen China’s primary care system. Policymakers have little objective evidence, however, on the current quality of primary care or what interventions can improve care quality, particularly in rural areas. This presentation will discuss recent evidence from audit studies using unannounced standardized patients (SPs), considered the gold standard method for assessing clinical practice, to evaluate the quality of primary care delivered in rural clinics and hospitals. In addition to analyzing provider performance, evidence will be presented on topics relevant to specific policy discussions, including referral systems and integrated care, factors driving antibiotic prescriptions, and the effects of civil service versus fixed-term employment on physician performance.

View Dr. Sylvia’s presentation here.

Dr. Sean Sylvia is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and a Faculty Fellow at the Carolina Population Center. Dr. Sylvia is a health and development economist whose research focuses on designing and evaluating innovative approaches to improve the delivery of health services in developing countries. His work relies heavily on fieldwork to collect primary data and uses experimental or quasi-experimental methods to evaluate the causal effects of policies and interventions. In past and ongoing projects, he has studied the design of performance-based incentives for providers, school-based health and nutrition programs, early childhood health and development, and the quality of primary care in low-resource settings. His work has been published health and social science journals such as the BMJPLOS Medicine, the American Journal of Public HealthHealth Affairs, the Journal of Labor EconomicsJournal of the European Economic Association, and Demography. He has long-standing collaborations with researchers at a number of universities in China where he directs large-scale surveys and randomized trials. Prior to joining UNC, he worked as an Assistant Professor in the School of Economics at Renmin University of China.