A Novel Gap Staffing Metric for Primary Care in the Veterans Health Administration and Implications for Rural and Urban Clinics

J Ambul Care Manage. 2023 Jan-Mar;46(1):25-33. doi: 10.1097/JAC.0000000000000429. Epub 2022 Aug 3.


Primary care providers (PCPs), including physicians and advanced practice providers, are the front line of medical care. Patient access must balance PCP availability and patient needs. This work develops a new PCP staffing metric using panel size and full-time equivalent data to determine whether a clinic is adequately staffed and describes variation by clinic rurality. Data were from the Veterans Health Administration, 2017-2021. Results describe the gap staffing metric, provide summary graphics, and compare the gap staffing between rural and urban clinics. This novel gap staffing metric can inform strategic clinic staffing in health care systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Humans
  • Primary Health Care
  • Rural Population*
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Veterans Health*
  • Workforce