Table 1:

Patient-reported access variables and coding schemes from the Health Care Experiences Survey (HCES)

VariableHCES question stemCoding scheme for answer choices
Telephone access (HCES item access 2)How often did your provider or someone else in the office speak to you when you called or get back to you the same day?Favourable: Always, often
Unfavourable: Sometimes, rarely, never, volunteers “it depends”
Missing: Don’t know, refused
After-hours access (HCES item access 6)Not including hospital emergency departments, does your provider have an after-hours clinic where patients can be seen by or talk to a doctor or nurse when the provider’s office is closed?Favourable: Yes
Unfavourable: No, Don’t know
Missing: Refused
Wait time for care (HCES item sick 3)How many days did it take from when you first tried to see your provider to when you actually saw them or someone else in their office?Favourable: Same day, next day
Unfavourable: 2 to ≥ 20 days
Missing: Don’t know, refused
Timeliness of wait for care (HCES item sick 6)*Would you say the length of time it took between making the appointment and the actual visit was about right, somewhat too long or much too long?Favourable: About right
Unfavourable: Somewhat too long, much too long
Missing: Other, don’t know, refused
  • * Added to survey in April 2016.

  • Asked only of participants answering “Yes” to the question, “Have you called or tried to call your provider’s office with a medical question or concern during the day on a Monday to Friday in the last 12 months?”

  • Asked only of participants answering “Yes” to the question, “Not counting yearly check-ups or monitoring of an ongoing health issue, in the last 12 months did you want to see your provider because you were sick or had a health concern?”