Background: Universities of medical sciences (UMSs) in Iran have geographic catchment areas (normally a province) in which they are responsible for public health services as well as provision of care by public providers. The present study strived to analyze and rank the performance of the medical sciences universities in improving the public health and primary healthcare.
Methods: Data on 41 indicators on the output (16 indicators), outcome (16 indicators), and impact (9 indicators) levels were extracted from various data sources. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to calculate the weight for each of the indicators. The score range for each level of performance is between 0 and 1. A score of 1 indicates the highest and a score of 0 indicates the lowest level of performance. Finally, the UMSs were ranked by their scores.
Results: The national mean performance scores of the UMSs on the output, outcome, impact, and the composite indicator levels were 0.756, 0.641, 0.561, and 0.563, respectively. The results show that the changes in performance scores at different levels of the results chain are remarkable.
Conclusion: The national mean performance of the UMSs of Iran is not satisfactory. However, there is considerable dispersion in their performance. Designing effective interventions in proportion to the conditions of universities on different levels of the results chain, developing a robust information system, conducting continuous monitoring and evaluation of public health are recommended for balanced improvements in public health and primary healthcare indicators in the country.