Kates, Nick; Hutchison, Brian; O'Brien, Patricia; Fraser, Brenda; Wheeler, Susan; Chapman, Cheryl
A consistent feature of effective healthcare delivery systems is a strong and well-integrated primary care sector. This paper presents a framework that describes the key elements of high-performing primary care and the supports required to attain it. The framework was developed by the Quality Improvement and Innovation Partnership in Ontario (now part of Health Quality Ontario) to guide the process of primary care transformation. The first section of this paper presents and describes the framework, the second proposes implementation strategies and the third identifies system-level structures and policies needed to support primary care transformation. The framework has three components: (1) the major constituencies that primary care serves – patients, families and their local communities; (2) the desired outcomes of primary care (better health, better care, better value); and (3) the attributes that will enable primary care organizations to attain these outcomes. These attributes are a population focus, patient engagement, partnerships with health and community services, innovation, performance measurement and quality improvement and team-based care.Proposed transformation strategies include building system capacity and capability, ensuring access to resources, providing support from coaches and employing effective spread and sustainability strategies. Broader system-level structures and policies necessary to support and sustain a high-performing and continually improving primary care sector include clear goals; a comprehensive approach to performance measurement; systematic evaluation of innovation; funding incentives aligned with quality outcomes; a system of local primary care organizations; support for inter-professional teams; funding for research to inform primary care policy, management and practice; patient enrolment with primary care providers; and mechanisms to support coordination and integration.
Fawcett, Kenneth J; Brummel, Stacy; Byrnes, John J
Primary care practices can no longer consider ongoing quality assessment and management processes to be optional. There are ever-increasing demands from any number of interested parties for objectively measured proof of outcomes and quality of care. Primary Care Partners (PCP), a 16-site ambulatory affiliate of the Spectrum Health system in Grand Rapids, Michigan, began such a continuous quality improvement (CQI) effort in 2005. The intent was to develop an ongoing systematic process that would raise its performance potential and improve patient outcomes in the areas of chronic disease management and preventive services. This article describes the partnerships PCP established, specific benchmarks and measurements used, processes utilized, and results to date. This could be used as a roadmap for other primary care systems that are working to establish CQI in their daily operations.
The government white paper Health of the nation has highlighted mental health as a key issue for the next decade. Primary care is being encouraged to take a leading role in developing effective services for people with mental health problems. This paper reviews current research on key aspects of mental health in adults: the prevalence of mental health problems, improving detection and management of mental health problems, the role of counselling, and communication between primary and secondary care. Recommendations are made for initiatives in both research and service development. PMID:1457175
Grumbach, Kevin; Bodenheimer, Thomas
In health care settings, individuals from different disciplines come together to care for patients. Although these groups of health care personnel are generally called teams, they need to earn true team status by demonstrating teamwork. Developing health care teams requires attention to 2 central questions: who is on the team and how do team members work together? This article chiefly focuses on the second question. Cohesive health care teams have 5 key characteristics: clear goals with measurable outcomes, clinical and administrative systems, division of labor, training of all team members, and effective communication. Two organizations are described that demonstrate these components: a private primary care practice in Bangor, Me, and Kaiser Permanente's Georgia region primary care sites. Research on patient care teams suggests that teams with greater cohesiveness are associated with better clinical outcome measures and higher patient satisfaction. In addition, medical settings in which physicians and nonphysician professionals work together as teams can demonstrate improved patient outcomes. A number of barriers to team formation exist, chiefly related to the challenges of human relationships and personalities. Taking small steps toward team development may improve the work environment in primary care practices.
Holm, C E; Lipsky, M S
Progressive primary care networks are now placing significant portions of physician salaries at risk by linking compensation to quantifiable measures such as net medical revenue (collections), reduced practice expenses, cost and utilization, quality of care and patient satisfaction. For most networks, a combination of productivity increases and expense reductions are critical to ensure financial survival. This case study illustrates how one network's unique incentive compensation program targeted higher productivity levels by incentivizing desirable behaviors.
Fisher, Elisa; Hasselberg, Michael; Conwell, Yeates; Weiss, Linda; Padrón, Norma A; Tiernan, Erin; Karuza, Jurgis; Donath, Jeremy; Pagán, José A
Health care delivery and payment systems are moving rapidly toward value-based care. To be successful in this new environment, providers must consistently deliver high-quality, evidence-based, and coordinated care to patients. This study assesses whether Project ECHO(®) (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) GEMH (geriatric mental health)-a remote learning and mentoring program-is an effective strategy to address geriatric mental health challenges in rural and underserved communities. Thirty-three teleECHO clinic sessions connecting a team of specialists to 54 primary care and case management spoke sites (approximately 154 participants) were conducted in 10 New York counties from late 2014 to early 2016. The curriculum consisted of case presentations and didactic lessons on best practices related to geriatric mental health care. Twenty-six interviews with program participants were conducted to explore changes in geriatric mental health care knowledge and treatment practices. Health insurance claims data were analyzed to assess changes in health care utilization and costs before and after program implementation. Findings from interviews suggest that the program led to improvements in clinician geriatric mental health care knowledge and treatment practices. Claims data analysis suggests that emergency room costs decreased for patients with mental health diagnoses. Patients without a mental health diagnosis had more outpatient visits and higher prescription and outpatient costs. Telementoring programs such as Project ECHO GEMH may effectively build the capacity of frontline clinicians to deliver high-quality, evidence-based care to older adults with mental health conditions and may contribute to the transformation of health care delivery systems from volume to value.
Kennedy, Denise M; Nordrum, Jon T; Edwards, Frederick D; Caselli, Richard J; Berry, Leonard L
A framework for improving health care service quality was implemented at a 12-provider family medicine practice in 2010. A national patient satisfaction research vendor conducted weekly telephone surveys of 840 patients served by that practice: 280 patients served in 2009, and 560 served during 2010 and 2011. After the framework was implemented, the proportion of "excellent" ratings of provider service (the highest rating on a 5-point scale) increased by 5% to 9%, most notably thoroughness (P = .04), listening (P = .04), and explaining (P = .04). Other improvements included prompt test result notification and telephone staff courtesy (each by 10%, P = .02), as well as teamwork (by 8%, P = .04). Overall quality increased by 10% (P = .01), moving the practice from the 68th to the 91st percentile of medical practices in the research vendor's database. Improvements in patient satisfaction suggest that this framework may be useful in value-based payment models.
There has been serious concern about the nutritional care provided in some secondary and primary care settings. As a result, best practice, benchmarking initiatives and nutritional guidance have been issued by government and non-government agencies. This article helps nurses to synthesise these initiatives and improve their knowledge of nutritional care.
Stange, Kurt C; Etz, Rebecca S; Gullett, Heidi; Sweeney, Sarah A; Miller, William L; Jaén, Carlos Roberto; Crabtree, Benjamin F; Nutting, Paul A; Glasgow, Russell E
Metrics focus attention on what is important. Balanced metrics of primary health care inform purpose and aspiration as well as performance. Purpose in primary health care is about improving the health of people and populations in their community contexts. It is informed by metrics that include long-term, meaning- and relationship-focused perspectives. Aspirational uses of metrics inspire evolving insights and iterative improvement, using a collaborative, developmental perspective. Performance metrics assess the complex interactions among primary care tenets of accessibility, a whole-person focus, integration and coordination of care, and ongoing relationships with individuals, families, and communities; primary health care principles of inclusion and equity, a focus on people's needs, multilevel integration of health, collaborative policy dialogue, and stakeholder participation; basic and goal-directed health care, prioritization, development, and multilevel health outcomes. Environments that support reflection, development, and collaborative action are necessary for metrics to advance health and minimize unintended consequences.
Cicutto, Lisa; Dingae, Meg B; Langmack, Esther L
Rural areas are often underserviced health areas, lack specialty care services, and experience higher levels of asthma-related burden. A primary care, asthma-focused, performance improvement program was provided to a 6-county, rural-frontier region in Colorado to determine whether asthma care practices could be enhanced to become concordant with evidence-based asthma care guidelines. A pre-post, quasi-experimental design was used. A complex, multifaceted intervention was provided to multidisciplinary primary care teams in practices serving children and adults with asthma. Intervention elements included face-to-face trainings, clinical support tools, patient education materials, a website, and clinic visits. Performance improvement and behavior change indicators were collected through chart audits and surveys from the entire health care team. Participants included three health care organizations and their staff in 13 primary care practices. Overall, all team members reported statistically significant improvements in confidence levels for providing quality asthma care. Chart reviews of asthma patient encounters completed before and after the program demonstrated statistically significant improvements in asthma care practices for asthma control assessment (1% vs 20%), provision of asthma action plans (2% vs 29%), controller prescription (39% vs 71%), inhaler technique assessment (1% vs 18%), and arrangement of follow-up appointment (20% vs 37%). The asthma care-focused, multifaceted, complex, performance improvement intervention provided to rural primary health care teams lead to significant improvements in all indicators of quality asthma care provision to adults and children with asthma. However, significant barriers exist for rural practices to adopt evidence-based asthma care practices. © 2014 The Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions, the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education, and the Council on Continuing Medical Education
Lakin, Joshua R; Block, Susan D; Billings, J Andrew; Koritsanszky, Luca A; Cunningham, Rebecca; Wichmann, Lisa; Harvey, Doreen; Lamey, Jan; Bernacki, Rachelle E
The Institute of Medicine recently called for systematic improvements in clinician-led conversations about goals, values, and care preferences for patients with serious and life-threatening illnesses. Studies suggest that these conversations are associated with improved outcomes for patients and their families, enhanced clinician satisfaction, and lower health care costs; however, the role of primary care clinicians in driving conversations about goals and priorities in serious illness is not well defined. To present a review of a structured search of the evidence base about communication in serious illness in primary care. MEDLINE was searched, via PubMed, on January 19, 2016, finding 911 articles; 126 articles were reviewed and selected titles were added from bibliography searches. Review of the literature informed 2 major topic areas: the role of primary care in communication about serious illness and clinician barriers and system failures that interfere with effective communication. Literature regarding the role that primary care plays in communication focused primarily on the ambiguity about whether primary care clinicians or specialists are responsible for initiating conversations, the benefits of primary care clinicians and specialists conducting conversations, and the quantity and quality of discussions. Timely and effective communication about serious illness in primary care is hampered by key clinician barriers, which include deficits in knowledge, skills, and attitudes; discomfort with prognostication; and lack of clarity about the appropriate timing and initiation of conversations. Finally, system failures in coordination, documentation, feedback, and quality improvement contribute to lack of conversations. Clinician and system barriers will challenge primary care clinicians and institutions to meet the needs of patients with serious illness. Ensuring that conversations about goals and values occur at the appropriate time for seriously ill patients will
Rifkin, S B; Walt, G
What is the impact of technology on improving the life situations of people, especially the poor? How is this impact analyzed in terms of health improvements? These questions are paramount in the minds of health planners as they pursue national policies of primary health care, a policy popularized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and accepted by over 150 governments at Alma Ata in 1978. The purpose of this paper is to explore these questions in depth. It begins by giving the background to the debate, then examines the origins of two concepts which have dominated the field, those of 'primary health care' and 'selective primary health care.' On this basis it suggests areas of differences in the two concepts and discusses the policy and practical implications of confusing the two approaches. The paper suggests that the differences are firstly who controls the outcome of technological interventions and the perceived time frame in which plans can be carried out.
Pérez-Ciordia, I; Guillén-Grima, F; Brugos, A; Aguinaga, I
The quality of services in a health system is related to the level of satisfaction of its professionals. The aim of this article is to determine job satisfaction in primary care professionals and rank those factors capable of improving it. Descriptive study carried out in Navarre in 2010. A validated questionnaire was sent by post to the population of the study: primary care doctors, pediatricians and nurses. Variables on socio-demographic data were collected and job satisfaction was self-evaluated on a scale of 1 to 10. Respondents were asked to rank 10 factors that could improve the previously mentioned satisfaction. Averages were compared and bivariate analysis was carried out using the chi-square test, studying the association between variables through the Odds Ratio (OR). The adjusted analysis was realized through unconditional logistic regression. We collected 432 questionnaires (77.5%). Average satisfaction was 6.7 (scale of 1 to 10), higher in nursing. Women showed a higher average than men (6.90:6.34). The workers at urban health centers (OR: 1.71; CI: 1.10-2.65) showed a higher risk of dissatisfaction with respect to professionals at rural centers. The training activities of the professional is the most highly valued item, followed by economic questions and questions of care pressure, with no differences found by profession. Job satisfaction is a dimension of quality management in primary care and its study enables identification of problems or opportunities for improvement with an impact on the quality of the services offered.
Biagetti, B; Aulinas, A; Dalama, B; Nogués, R; Zafón, C; Mesa, J
Efforts have recently been made in Spain to improve the communication model between primary care and specialized care. The aim of our study was to analyze the impact of a change in the communication model between the two areas when comparing a traditional system to a consulting system in terms of satisfaction of general practitioners and the number of patient referrals. A questionnaire was used to assess the point of view on the relations with the endocrinologist team of 20 general practitioners from one primary care center at baseline and 18 months after the implementation of the new method of communication. In addition, we counted the number of referrals during the two periods. We analyzed 30 questionnaires; 13 before and 17 after the consulting system was established. Consulting system was preferred to other alternatives as a way of communication with endocrinologists. After the consulting system was implemented, general practitioners were more confident in treating hypothyroidism and diabetes. There was a decrease in the number of patient referrals to specialized care from 93.8 to 34.6 per month after implementation of the consultant system. The consultant system was more efficient in resolving problems and responding to general practitioners than the traditional system. General practitioners were more confident in self-management of hypothyroidism and diabetes. A very large decrease in the number of patient referrals was observed after implementation of the consultant system. Copyright © 2015 SECA. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
Liddy, Clare E; Blazhko, Valeriya; Dingwall, Molly; Singh, Jatinderpreet; Hogg, William E
Practice facilitation has proven to be effective at improving care delivery. Practice facilitators are healthcare professionals who work with and support other healthcare providers. To the best of our knowledge, very few studies have explored the perspective of facilitators. The objective of this study was to gain insight into the barriers that facilitators face during the facilitation process and to identify approaches used to overcome these barriers to help practices move towards positive change. We conducted semi-structured interviews with four practice facilitators who worked with 84 primary care practices in Eastern Ontario, Canada over a period of five years (2007-2012). The transcripts were analyzed independently by three members of the research team using an open coding technique. A qualitative data analysis using immersion/crystallization technique was applied to interpret the interview transcripts. Common barriers identified by the facilitators included accessibility to the practice (e.g., difficulty scheduling meetings, short meetings), organizational behaviour (team organization, team conflicts, etc.), challenges with practice engagement (e.g., lack of interest, lack of trust), resistance to change, and competing priorities. To help practices move towards positive change the facilitators had to tailor their approach, integrate themselves, be persistent with practices, and exhibit flexibility. The consensus on redesigning and transforming primary care in North America and around the world is rapidly growing. Practice facilitation has been pivotal in materializing the transformation in the way primary care practices deliver care. This study provides an exclusive insight into facilitator approaches which will assist the design and implementation of small- and large-scale facilitation interventions.
Ugo, Okoli; Ezinne, Eze-Ajoku; Modupe, Oludipe; Nicole, Spieker; Winifred, Ekezie; Kelechi, Ohiri
Nigeria has a high population density but a weak health-care system. To improve the quality of care, 3 organizations carried out a quality improvement pilot intervention at the primary health-care level in selected rural areas. To assess the change in quality of care in primary health-care facilities in rural Nigeria following the provision of technical governance support and to document the successes and challenges encountered. A total of 6 states were selected across the 6 geopolitical zones of the country. However, assessments were carried out in 40 facilities in only 5 states. Selection was based on location, coverage, and minimum services offered. The facilities were divided randomly into 2 groups. The treatment group received quality-of-care assessment, continuous feedback, and improvement support, whereas the control group received quality assessment and no other support. Data were collected using the SafeCare Healthcare Standards and managed on the SafeCare Data Management System-AfriDB. Eight core areas were assessed at baseline and end line, and compliance to quality health-care standards was compared. Outcomes from 40 facilities were accepted and analyzed. Overall scores increased in the treatment facilities compared to the control facilities, with strong evidence of improvement (t = 5.28, P = .0004) and 11% average improvement, but no clear pattern of improvement emerged in the control group. The study demonstrated governance support and active community involvement offered potential for quality improvement in primary health-care facilities.
required application of innovative and creative strategies to improve self-management. The cases are representative of some common themes within the patient with type 2 diabetes in a military primary care clinic.
Dyar, Oliver J; Beović, Bojana; Vlahović-Palčevski, Vera; Verheij, Theo; Pulcini, Céline
Antibiotic stewardship is a necessity given the worldwide antimicrobial resistance crisis. Outpatient antibiotic use represents around 90% of total antibiotic use, with more than half of these prescriptions being either unnecessary or inappropriate. Efforts to improve antibiotic prescribing need to incorporate two complementary strategies: changing healthcare professionals' behaviour, and modifying the healthcare system. In this review, we present a broad perspective on antibiotic stewardship in primary care in high and high-middle income country settings, focussing on studies published in the last five years. We present the limitations of available literature, discuss perspectives, and provide suggestions for where future work should be concentrated.
Tsiligianni, Ioanna; Rodríguez, Miguel Román; Lisspers, Karin; LeeTan, Tze; Infantino, Antonio
In this perspective-based article, which is based on findings from a comprehensive literature search, we discuss the significant and growing burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in women worldwide. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease now affects both men and women almost equally. Despite this, there remains an outdated perception of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as a male-dominated disease. Primary care physicians play a central role in overseeing the multidisciplinary care of women with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Many women with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease delay seeking medical assistance, due to fear of stigmatization or dismissing symptoms as a 'smoker's cough'. Improving awareness is important to encourage women with symptoms to seek advice earlier. Once women do seek help, primary care physicians need to have knowledge of the nuances of female chronic obstructive pulmonary disease disease presentation to avoid mis- or delayed diagnosis, both of which are more common in women with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than men. Subsequent management should consider gender-specific issues, such as differential incidences of comorbid conditions, potentially higher symptom burden, and a higher risk of exacerbations. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease treatment and smoking cessation management should be specifically tailored to the individual woman and reviewed regularly to optimize patient outcomes. Finally, education should be an integral part of managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in women as it will help to empower them to take control of their disease.
Dorsey, E Ray; Nicholson, Sean; Frist, William H
The current medical education system and reimbursement policies in the United States have contributed to a maldistribution of physicians by specialty and geography. The causes of this maldistribution include financial barriers that prevent the individuals who would be the most likely to serve in primary care and underserved areas from entering the profession, large taxpayer subsidies to teaching hospitals that provide incentives to act in ways that are not in the best interest of society, and reimbursement policies that discourage physicians from providing primary care. The authors propose that the maldistribution of physicians can be addressed successfully by reducing the financial barriers to becoming a primary care physician, aligning subsidies with societal interests, and providing financial incentives that target primary care. They suggest that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 takes steps in the right direction but that more financially prudent measures should be taken as politicians revisit health care reform with heightened financial scrutiny.
Lenney, Warren; Clayton, Sadie; Gilchrist, Francis J; Price, David; Small, Iain; Smith, Judy; Sutton, Emma J
Asthma is a very common disease that can occur at any age. In the UK and in many other countries it is mainly managed in primary care. The published evidence suggests that the key to improving diagnosis and management lies in better training and education rather than in the discovery of new medications. An asthma improvement project managed through the British Lung Foundation is attempting to do this. The project has three pilot sites: two in England supported by the Department of Health and one in Scotland supported by the Scottish Government. If the project is successful it will be rolled out to other health areas within the UK. The results of this project are not yet available. This article highlights the challenges encountered in setting up the project and may well be applicable to other areas in the UK and to other countries where similar healthcare systems exist. The encountered challenges reflect the complex nature of healthcare systems and electronic data capture in primary care. We discuss the differences between general practices in their ability and willingness to support the project, the training and education of their staff on asthma management, governance issues in relation to information technology systems, and the quality of data capture. Virtually all the challenges have now been overcome, but discussing them should ensure that others become aware of them at an early stage should they wish to undertake similar projects in the future. PMID:26741114
Lenney, Warren; Clayton, Sadie; Gilchrist, Francis J; Price, David; Small, Iain; Smith, Judy; Sutton, Emma J
Asthma is a very common disease that can occur at any age. In the UK and in many other countries it is mainly managed in primary care. The published evidence suggests that the key to improving diagnosis and management lies in better training and education rather than in the discovery of new medications. An asthma improvement project managed through the British Lung Foundation is attempting to do this. The project has three pilot sites: two in England supported by the Department of Health and one in Scotland supported by the Scottish Government. If the project is successful it will be rolled out to other health areas within the UK. The results of this project are not yet available. This article highlights the challenges encountered in setting up the project and may well be applicable to other areas in the UK and to other countries where similar healthcare systems exist. The encountered challenges reflect the complex nature of healthcare systems and electronic data capture in primary care. We discuss the differences between general practices in their ability and willingness to support the project, the training and education of their staff on asthma management, governance issues in relation to information technology systems, and the quality of data capture. Virtually all the challenges have now been overcome, but discussing them should ensure that others become aware of them at an early stage should they wish to undertake similar projects in the future.
Hilts, Linda; Howard, Michelle; Price, David; Risdon, Cathy; Agarwal, Gina; Childs, Anne
Approaches to improving the quality of health care recognize the need for systems and cultures that facilitate optimal care. Interpersonal relationships and dynamics are a key factor in transforming a system to one that can achieve quality. The Quality in Family Practice (QIFP) program encompasses clinical and practice management using a comprehensive tool of family practice indicators. The objective of this study was to explore and describe the views of staff regarding changes in the clinical practice environment at two affiliated academic primary care clinics (comprising one Family Health Team, FHT) who participated in QIFP. An FHT in Hamilton, Canada, worked through the quality tool in 2008/2009. A qualitative exploratory case study approach was employed to examine staff perceptions of the process of participating. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in early 2010 with 43 FHT staff with representation from physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, support staff and managers. Interviews were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. A modified template approach was used for coding, with a complexity theory perspective of analysis. Themes included importance of leadership, changes to practice environment, changes to communication, an increased understanding of team roles and relationships, strengthened teamwork, flattening of hierarchy through empowerment, changes in clinical care and clinical impacts, challenges and rewards and sustainability. The program resulted in perceived changes to relationships, teamwork and morale. Addressing issues of leadership, role clarity, empowerment, flattening of hierarchy and teamwork may go a long way in establishing and maintaining a quality culture.
Kriegel, J; Rebhandl, E; Reckwitz, N; Hockl, W
Current and projected general practitioner (GP) and primary care in Austria shows structural and process inadequacies in the quality as well as assurance of healthcare supply. The aim is therefore to develop solution- and patient-oriented measures that take patient-related requirements and medical perspectives into account. Using an effect matrix, subjective expert and user priorities were ascertained, cause and effect relationships were examined, and an expanded circle of success for the optimization of GP and primary care in Upper Austria was developed. Through this, the relevant levers for target-oriented development and optimization of the complex system of GP and primary care in Upper Austria were identified; these are training to become general practitioners, entrepreneurs as well as management and coordination. It is necessary to further adapt the identified levers conceptually and operationally in a targeted approach. This is to be achieved by means of the primary health care (PHC) concept as well as management tools and information and communication technologies (ICT) associated with it. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.
Schifferdecker, Karen E.; Reed, Virginia A.; Homa, Karen
Background and Objectives Training programs designed to improve information management have been implemented but not adequately tested. Three critical components for information management were tested in a randomized control study: (1) knowledge of valid, synthesized summary information, (2) skills to use Web-based resources that provide access to these summaries, and (3) use of Web-based resources in clinical practice. Methods Twenty-four primary care practices were provided with computers and high-speed Internet access and then matched, with half randomly assigned to receive training and half to receive training at a later date. Training was designed to address knowledge, skills, and use of Web-based information. Outcomes were assessed by comparing baseline and follow-up questionnaires that focused on five conceptual domains related to Web-based resource use for patient care decisions and patient education. Results Compared to the delayed training group, the initial training group increased their knowledge and skill of Web-based resources and use for patient care decisions. Some measures of communication with patients about using Web-based resources and of incorporating use of Web-based resources into daily practice increased from baseline to follow-up for all participants. Conclusions Our findings suggest that training and providing computers and Internet connections have measurable effects on information management behaviors. PMID:18773781
May, Christine N; Sadasivam, Rajani S; Houston, Thomas K
Background Engaging health care staff in new quality improvement programs is challenging. Objective We developed 2 virtual patient (VP) avatars in the context of a clinic-level quality improvement program. We sought to determine differences in preferences for VPs and the perceived influence of interacting with the VP on clinical staff engagement with the quality improvement program. Methods Using a participatory design approach, we developed an older male smoker VP and a younger female smoker VP. The older male smoker was described as a patient with cardiovascular disease and was ethnically ambiguous. The female patient was younger and was worried about the impact of smoking on her pregnancy. Clinical staff were allowed to choose the VP they preferred, and the more they engaged with the VP, the more likely the VP was to quit smoking and become healthier. We deployed the VP within the context of a quality improvement program designed to encourage clinical staff to refer their patients who smoke to a patient-centered Web-assisted tobacco intervention. To evaluate the VPs, we used quantitative analyses using multivariate models of provider and practice characteristics and VP characteristic preference and analyses of a brief survey of positive deviants (clinical staff in practices with high rates of encouraging patients to use the quit smoking innovation). Results A total of 146 clinical staff from 76 primary care practices interacted with the VPs. Clinic staff included medical providers (35/146, 24.0%), nurse professionals (19/146, 13.0%), primary care technicians (5/146, 3.4%), managerial staff (67/146, 45.9%), and receptionists (20/146, 13.7%). Medical staff were mostly male, and other roles were mostly female. Medical providers (OR 0.031; CI 0.003-0.281; P=.002) and younger staff (OR 0.411; CI 0.177-0.952; P=.038) were less likely to choose the younger, female VP when controlling for all other characteristics. VP preference did not influence online patient
Malloy, Christine; Little, Barbara Battin; Michael, Melanie
Wait times for medical care are a major factor in patient satisfaction with health care. The Dartmouth Microsystem Improvement Curriculum and Plan-Do-Study-Act improvement method were used to address patient dissatisfaction with wait times among patients receiving primary care in a Federally Qualified Health Center. Wait time data were collected for 406 patient visits during the pretest phase and 397 visits during the posttest phase. Improvements in patient satisfaction with waiting room wait time (P = .023) and examination room wait time (P = .009) were achieved.
Tomasone, Jennifer R; Brouwers, Melissa C; Vukmirovic, Marija; Grunfeld, Eva; O'Brien, Mary Ann; Urquhart, Robin; Walker, Melanie; Webster, Fiona; Fitch, Margaret
Coordination of patient care between primary care and oncology care providers is vital to care quality and outcomes across the cancer continuum, yet it is known to be challenging. We conducted a systematic review to evaluate current or new models of care and/or interventions aimed at improving coordination between primary care and oncology care providers for patients with adult breast and/or colorectal cancer. MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane Library Database of Systematic Reviews, and the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination were searched for existing English language studies published between January 2000 and 15 May 2015. Systematic reviews, meta-analyses, randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and non-randomised studies were included if they evaluated a specific model/intervention that was designed to improve care coordination between primary care and oncology care providers, for any stage of the cancer continuum, for patients with adult breast and/or colorectal cancer. Two reviewers extracted data and assessed risk of bias. Twenty-two studies (5 systematic reviews, 6 RCTs and 11 non-randomised studies) were included and varied with respect to the targeted phase of the cancer continuum, type of model or intervention tested, and outcome measures. The majority of studies showed no statistically significant changes in any patient, provider or system outcomes. Owing to conceptual and methodological limitations in this field, the review is unable to provide specific conclusions about the most effective or preferred model/intervention to improve care coordination. Imprecise results that lack generalisability and definitiveness provide limited evidence to base the development of future interventions and policies. Trial registration number CRD42015025006. PMID:27843639
Grimshaw, J M; Winkens, R A G; Shirran, L; Cunningham, C; Mayhew, A; Thomas, R; Fraser, C
The primary care specialist interface is a key organisational feature of many health care systems. Patients are referred to specialist care when investigation or therapeutic options are exhausted in primary care and more specialised care is needed. Referral has considerable implications for patients, the health care system and health care costs. There is considerable evidence that the referral processes can be improved. To estimate the effectiveness and efficiency of interventions to change outpatient referral rates or improve outpatient referral appropriateness. We conducted electronic searches of the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) group specialised register (developed through extensive searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, Healthstar and the Cochrane Library) (February 2002) and the National Research Register. Randomised controlled trials, controlled clinical trials, controlled before and after studies and interrupted time series of interventions to change or improve outpatient referrals. Participants were primary care physicians. The outcomes were objectively measured provider performance or health outcomes. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed study quality. Seventeen studies involving 23 separate comparisons were included. Nine studies (14 comparisons) evaluated professional educational interventions. Ineffective strategies included: passive dissemination of local referral guidelines (two studies), feedback of referral rates (one study) and discussion with an independent medical adviser (one study). Generally effective strategies included dissemination of guidelines with structured referral sheets (four out of five studies) and involvement of consultants in educational activities (two out of three studies). Three studies evaluated organisational interventions (patient management by family physicians compared to general internists, attachment of a physiotherapist to general practices and requiring a second 'in
Aldulaimi, Sommer; Mora, Francisco E
Ecuador is a country with few resources to spend on health care. Historically, Ecuador has struggled to find a model for health care that is efficient, effective, and available to all people in the country, even those in underserved and rural communities. In 2000, the Ecuador Ministry of Public Health implemented a new system of health care that used primary care as its platform. Since then, Ecuador has been able to increase its health care efficiency, increasing its ranking from 111 of 211 countries worldwide in 2000, to 20 of 211 countries in 2014. This article briefly reviews the new components of the system implemented in Ecuador and examines the tools used to accomplish this. The discussion also compares and contrasts the Ecuador and US systems, and identifies concepts and policies from Ecuador that could improve the US system. © Copyright 2017 by the American Board of Family Medicine.
Taylor, Charles T; Byrd, Debbie C; Krueger, Kem
The effect of pharmaceutical care on the prevention, detection, and resolution of medication-related problems in high-risk patients in a rural community was studied. Adult patients who received care at clinics in a medically underserved area of Alabama and who were identified as being at high risk of medication-related adverse events were randomly assigned to a control group or an intervention group. The control group received standard medical care, and the intervention group received pharmaceutical care, including a medical record review, a medication history review, pharmacotherapeutic evaluation, and patient medication education and monitoring over a one-year period. A total of 69 patients completed the study (33 in the intervention group and 36 in the control group). The percentage of patients responding to hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and anticoagulation therapy increased significantly in the intervention group and declined in the control group. Ratings for inappropriate prescribing improved in all 10 domains evaluated in the intervention group but worsened in 5 domains in the control group. There were no significant differences between the groups at 12 months in health-related quality of life or medication misadventures. Medication compliance scores improved in the intervention group but not in the control group. Medication knowledge increased in the intervention group and decreased in the control group. Pharmaceutical care in a rural, community-based setting appeared to reduce inappropriate prescribing, enhance disease management, and improve medication compliance and knowledge without adversely affecting health-related quality of life.
Prestes, Mariana; Gayarre, Maria A; Elgart, Jorge F; Gonzalez, Lorena; Rucci, Enzo; Paganini, Jose M; Gagliardino, Juan J
To present results, 1 year postimplementation at primary care level, of an integrated diabetes care programme including systemic changes, education, registry (clinical, metabolic, and therapeutic indicators), and disease management (DIAPREM). We randomly selected and trained 15 physicians and 15 nurses from primary care units of La Matanza County (intervention-IG) and another 15 physicians/nurses to participate as controls (control-CG). Each physician-nurse team controlled and followed up 10 patients with type 2 diabetes for 1 year; both groups used structured medical records. Patients in IG had quarterly clinical appointments, whereas those in CG received traditional care. Statistical data analysis included parametric/nonparametric tests according to data distribution profile and Chi-squared test for proportions. After 12 months, the dropout rate was significantly lower in IG than in CG. Whereas in IG HbA1c, blood pressure and lipid profile levels significantly decreased, no changes were recorded in CG. Drug prescriptions showed no significant changes in IG except a decrease in oral monotherapy. DIAPREM is an expedient and simple multistrategic model to implement at the primary care level in order to decrease patient dropout and improve control and treatment adherence, and quality of care of people with diabetes.
Allen, Michelle L.; Gunst, Colette
Background Foot screening is an important part of diabetic care as it prevents significant morbidity, loss of function and mortality from diabetic foot complications. However, foot screening is often neglected. Aim This project was aimed at educating health care workers (HCWs) in a primary health care clinic to increase diabetic foot screening practices. Setting A primary health care clinic in the Western Cape province of South Africa Methods A quality improvement project was conducted. HCWs’ needs were assessed using a questionnaire. This was followed by focus group discussions with the HCWs, which were recorded, transcribed and assessed using a general inductive approach. An intervention was designed based on common themes. Staff members were trained on foot screening and patient information pamphlets and screening tools were made available to all clinic staff. Thirty-two consecutive diabetic patient folders were audited to compare screening in 2013 with that in 2014 after initiation of the quality improvement cycle. Results HCWs’ confidence in conducting foot screening using the diabetic foot assessment questionnaire improved markedly after training. Diabetic foot screening practices increased from 9% in 2013 to 69% in 2014 after the first quality improvement cycle. A strengths, opportunities, aspirations and results (SOAR) analysis showed promise for continuing quality improvement cycles. Conclusion The findings showed a significant improvement in the number of diabetic patients screened. Using strategic planning with appreciative intent based on SOAR, proved to be motivational and can be used in the planning of the next cycle. PMID:27608673
Harris, Matthew J.; Rocha, Marcia Gomes
Despite some remarkable achievements, there are several challenges facing Brazil's Family Health Strategy (FHS), including expanding access to primary care and improving its quality. These concerns motivated the development of the National Program for Improving Primary Care Access and Quality (PMAQ). Although voluntary, the program now includes nearly 39 000 FHS teams in the country and has led to a near doubling of the federal investment in primary care in its first 2 rounds. In this article, we introduce the PMAQ and advance several recommendations to ensure that it continues to improve primary care access and quality in Brazil. PMID:28252498
AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-1-0272 TITLE: Improving universal suicide prevention screening in primary care by reducing false negatives PRINCIPAL...COVERED 9/1/2015-8/31/2016 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Improving universal suicide prevention screening in primary care by 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER reducing...screen for use in military primary care clinics. We propose to achieve this aim by accomplishing the following objectives: (a) to develop a brief
Szecsenyi, Joachim; Campbell, Stephen; Broge, Bjoern; Laux, Gunter; Willms, Sara; Wensing, Michel; Goetz, Katja
Background: The European Practice Assessment program provides feedback and outreach visits to primary care practices to facilitate quality improvement in five domains (infrastructure, people, information, finance, and quality and safety). We examined the effectiveness of this program in improving management in primary care practices in Germany, with a focus on the domain of quality and safety. Methods: In a before–after study, 102 primary care practices completed a practice assessment using the European Practice Assessment instrument at baseline and three years later (intervention group). A comparative group of 102 practices was included that completed their first assessment using this instrument at the time of the intervention group’s second assessment. Mean scores were based on the proportion of indicators for which a positive response was achieved by all of the practices, on a scale of 0 to 100. Results: We found significant improvements in all domains between the first and second assessments in the intervention group. In the domain of quality and safety, improvements in scores (mean scores were based on the proportion of indicators for which a positive response was achieved by all of the practices, on a scale of 0 to 100) were observed in the following dimensions: complaint management (from a mean score of 51.2 at first assessment to 80.7 at second assessment); analysis of critical incidents (from 79.1 to 89.6); and quality development, quality policy (from 40.7 to 55.6). Overall scores at the time of the second assessment were significantly higher in the intervention group than in the comparative group. Interpretation: Primary care practices that completed the European Practice Assessment instrument twice over a three-year period showed improvements in practice management. Our findings show the value of the quality-improvement cycle in the context of practice assessment and the use of established organizational standards for practice management with the
Szecsenyi, Joachim; Campbell, Stephen; Broge, Bjoern; Laux, Gunter; Willms, Sara; Wensing, Michel; Goetz, Katja
The European Practice Assessment program provides feedback and outreach visits to primary care practices to facilitate quality improvement in five domains (infrastructure, people, information, finance, and quality and safety). We examined the effectiveness of this program in improving management in primary care practices in Germany, with a focus on the domain of quality and safety. In a before-after study, 102 primary care practices completed a practice assessment using the European Practice Assessment instrument at baseline and three years later (intervention group). A comparative group of 102 practices was included that completed their first assessment using this instrument at the time of the intervention group's second assessment. Mean scores were based on the proportion of indicators for which a positive response was achieved by all of the practices, on a scale of 0 to 100. We found significant improvements in all domains between the first and second assessments in the intervention group. In the domain of quality and safety, improvements in scores (mean scores were based on the proportion of indicators for which a positive response was achieved by all of the practices, on a scale of 0 to 100) were observed in the following dimensions: complaint management (from a mean score of 51.2 at first assessment to 80.7 at second assessment); analysis of critical incidents (from 79.1 to 89.6); and quality development, quality policy (from 40.7 to 55.6). Overall scores at the time of the second assessment were significantly higher in the intervention group than in the comparative group. Primary care practices that completed the European Practice Assessment instrument twice over a three-year period showed improvements in practice management. Our findings show the value of the quality-improvement cycle in the context of practice assessment and the use of established organizational standards for practice management with the Europeaen Practice Assessment.
Cykert, Samuel; Lefebvre, Ann; Bacon, Thomas; Newton, Warren
The effect of practice facilitation that provides onsite quality improvement (QI) and electronic health record (EHR) coaching on chronic care outcomes is unclear. This study evaluates the effectiveness of such a program-similar to an agricultural extension center model-that provides these services. Through the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers program became the Regional Extension Center for Health Information Technology (REC) for North Carolina. The REC program provides onsite technical assistance to help small primary care practices achieve meaningful use of certified EHRs. While pursuing meaningful use functionality, practices were also offered complementary onsite advice regarding QI issues. We followed the first 50 primary care practices that utilized both EHR and QI advice targeting diabetes care. The achievement of meaningful use of certified EHRs and performance of QI with onsite practice facilitation showed an absolute improvement of 19% in the proportion of patients who achieved excellent diabetes control (hemoglobin A1c < 7%) compared to baseline. In addition, the percentages of patients with poorly controlled diabetes (hemoglobin A1c > 9%) fell steeply in these practices. No control group was available for comparison. Practice facilitation that provided EHR and QI coaching support showed important improvements in diabetes outcomes in practices that achieved meaningful use of their EHR systems. This approach holds promise as a way to help small primary care practices achieve excellent patient outcomes. ©2016 by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine and The Duke Endowment. All rights reserved.
Smeets, Miek; Van Roy, Sara; Aertgeerts, Bert; Vermandere, Mieke; Vaes, Bert
Objectives General practitioners (GPs) play a key role in heart failure (HF) management. Despite multiple guidelines, the management of patients with HF in primary care is suboptimal. Therefore, all the qualitative evidence concerning GPs’ perceptions of managing HF in primary care was synthesised to identify barriers and facilitators for optimal care, and ideas for improvement. Design Qualitative evidence synthesis. Methods Searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science and CINAHL databases up to 20/12/2015 were conducted. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme's checklist for qualitative research was used for quality assessment. Thematic analysis was used as method of analysis. Results Of 5427 articles, 18 qualitative articles were included. Findings were organised in HF-specific factors, patient factors, physician factors and contextual factors. GPs’ uncertainty in all areas of HF management was highlighted. HF management started with an uncertain diagnosis, leading to difficulties with communication, treatment and advance care planning. Lack of access to specialised care and lack of knowledge were identified as important contributors to this uncertainty. In an effort to overcome this, strategies bringing evidence into practice should be promoted. GPs expressed the need for a multidisciplinary chronic care approach for HF. However, mixed experiences were noted with regard to interprofessional collaboration. Conclusions The main challenges identified in this synthesis were how to deal with GPs’ uncertainty about clinical practice, how to bring evidence into practice and how to work together as a multiprofessional team. These barriers were situated predominantly on the physician and contextual level. Targets to improve GPs’ HF care were identified. PMID:27903565
Chung, Vincent Ch; Yip, Benjamin Hk; Griffiths, Sian M; Yu, Ellen Lm; Liu, Siya; Ho, Robin St; Wu, Xinyin; Leung, Albert Wn; Sit, Regina Ws; Wu, Justin Cy; Wong, Samuel Ys
Chinese medicine (CM) is major form of traditional and complementary medicine used by Chinese populations. Evaluation on patients' experience on CM service is essential for improving service quality. This cross sectional study aims (i) to assess how CM clinics with different administrative model differ in terms of quality from patients' perspective; and (ii) to investigate how quality varies with patients' demographic and health characteristics. Five hundred and sixteen patients were sampled from charity and semi-public CM clinics in Hong Kong, and were invited to assess their experience using the Primary Care Assessment Tool (PCAT). Results indicated that overall mean PCAT scoring is satisfactory, achieving 70.7% (91.26/129) of total score. Ratings were lower in areas of "coordination of patient information", "continuity of care", and "range of service provided". Impact of administrative models, including involvement of tax-funded healthcare system and outreach delivery, were minimal after adjusting for patient characteristics. Demographic and health characteristics of patients did not contribute to substantial variations in scoring. To improve patient experience, policy makers should consider strengthening care coordination, continuity and comprehensiveness in CM primary care services. Sharing of electronic records and establishing referral system are potential solutions for linking CM and conventional healthcare services.
Porter, Michael E; Pabo, Erika A; Lee, Thomas H
Primary care in the United States currently struggles to attract new physicians and to garner investments in infrastructure required to meet patients' needs. We believe that the absence of a robust overall strategy for the entire spectrum of primary care is a fundamental cause of these struggles. To address the absence of an overall strategy and vision for primary care, we offer a framework based on value for patients to sustain and improve primary care practice. First, primary care should be organized around subgroups of patients with similar needs. Second, team-based services should be provided to each patient subgroup over its full care cycle. Third, each patient's outcomes and true costs should be measured by subgroup as a routine part of care. Fourth, payment should be modified to bundle reimbursement for each subgroup and reward value improvement. Finally, primary care patient subgroup teams should be integrated with relevant specialty providers. We believe that redesigning primary care using this framework can improve the ability of primary care to play its essential role in the health care system.
Cañada Dorado, A; Cárdenas Valladolid, J; Espejo Matorrales, F; García Ferradal, I; Sastre Páez, S; Vicente Martín, I
To describe a project carried out in order to improve the process of Continuous Health Care (CHC) on Saturdays and bank holidays in Primary Care, area number 4, Madrid. The aim of this project was to guarantee a safe and error-free service to patients receiving home health care on weekends. The urgent need for improving CHC process was identified by the Risk Management Functional Unit (RMFU) of the area. In addition, some complaints had been received from the nurses involved in the process as well as from their patients. A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis performed in 2009 highlighted a number of problems with the process. As a result, a project for improvement was drawn up, to be implemented in the following stages: 1. Redesigning and improving the existing process. 2. Application of failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) to the new process. 3. Follow up, managing and leading the project. 4. Nurse training. 5. Implementing the process in the whole area. 6. CHC nurse satisfaction surveys. After carrying out this project, the efficiency and level of automation improved considerably. Since implementation of the process enhancement measures, no complaints have been received from patients and surveys show that CHC nurse satisfaction has improved. By using FMEA, errors were given priority and enhancement steps were taken in order to: Inform professionals, back-up personnel and patients about the process. Improve the specialist follow-up report. Provide training in ulcer patient care. The process enhancement, and especially its automation, has resulted in a significant step forward toward achieving greater patient safety. FMEA was a useful tool, which helped in taking some important actions. Finally, CHC nurse satisfaction has clearly improved. Copyright © 2009 SECA. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
Akbari, Ayub; Mayhew, Alain; Al-Alawi, Manal Alawi; Grimshaw, Jeremy; Winkens, Ron; Glidewell, Elizabeth; Pritchard, Chanie; Thomas, Ruth; Fraser, Cynthia
The primary care specialist interface is a key organisational feature of many health care systems. Patients are referred to specialist care when investigation or therapeutic options are exhausted in primary care and more specialised care is needed. Referral has considerable implications for patients, the health care system and health care costs. There is considerable evidence that the referral processes can be improved. To estimate the effectiveness and efficiency of interventions to change outpatient referral rates or improve outpatient referral appropriateness. We conducted electronic searches of the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care (EPOC) group specialised register (developed through extensive searches of MEDLINE, EMBASE, Healthstar and the Cochrane Library) (February 2002) and the National Research Register. Updated searches were conducted in MEDLINE and the EPOC specialised register up to October 2007. Randomised controlled trials, controlled clinical trials, controlled before and after studies and interrupted time series of interventions to change or improve outpatient referrals. Participants were primary care physicians. The outcomes were objectively measured provider performance or health outcomes. A minimum of two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed study quality. Seventeen studies involving 23 separate comparisons were included. Nine studies (14 comparisons) evaluated professional educational interventions. Ineffective strategies included: passive dissemination of local referral guidelines (two studies), feedback of referral rates (one study) and discussion with an independent medical adviser (one study). Generally effective strategies included dissemination of guidelines with structured referral sheets (four out of five studies) and involvement of consultants in educational activities (two out of three studies). Four studies evaluated organisational interventions (patient management by family physicians compared to
Chung, Vincent CH; Yip, Benjamin HK; Griffiths, Sian M; Yu, Ellen LM; Liu, Siya; Ho, Robin ST; Wu, Xinyin; Leung, Albert WN; Sit, Regina WS; Wu, Justin CY; Wong, Samuel YS
Chinese medicine (CM) is major form of traditional and complementary medicine used by Chinese populations. Evaluation on patients’ experience on CM service is essential for improving service quality. This cross sectional study aims (i) to assess how CM clinics with different administrative model differ in terms of quality from patients’ perspective; and (ii) to investigate how quality varies with patients’ demographic and health characteristics. Five hundred and sixteen patients were sampled from charity and semi-public CM clinics in Hong Kong, and were invited to assess their experience using the Primary Care Assessment Tool (PCAT). Results indicated that overall mean PCAT scoring is satisfactory, achieving 70.7% (91.26/129) of total score. Ratings were lower in areas of “coordination of patient information”, “continuity of care”, and “range of service provided”. Impact of administrative models, including involvement of tax-funded healthcare system and outreach delivery, were minimal after adjusting for patient characteristics. Demographic and health characteristics of patients did not contribute to substantial variations in scoring. To improve patient experience, policy makers should consider strengthening care coordination, continuity and comprehensiveness in CM primary care services. Sharing of electronic records and establishing referral system are potential solutions for linking CM and conventional healthcare services. PMID:26686267
Shipman, Scott A; Sinsky, Christine A
Most solutions proposed for the looming shortage of primary care physicians entail strategies that fall into one of three categories: train more, lose fewer, or find someone else. A fourth strategy deserves more attention: waste less. This article examines the remarkable inefficiency and waste in primary care today and highlights practices that have addressed these problems. For example, delegating certain administrative tasks such as managing task lists in the electronic health record can give physicians more time to see additional patients. Flow managers who guide physicians from task to task throughout the clinical day have been shown to improve physicians' efficiency and capacity. Even something as simple as placing a printer in every exam room can save each physician twenty minutes per day. Modest but systemwide improvements could yield dramatic gains in physician capacity while potentially reducing physician burnout and its implications for the quality of care. If widely adopted, small efforts to empower nonphysicians, reengineer workflows, exploit technology, and update policies to eliminate wasted effort could yield the capacity for millions of additional patient visits per year in the United States.
Antón, F; Richart, M J; Serrano, S; Martínez, A M; Pruteanu, D F
Vaccination coverage reached in adults is insufficient, and there is a real need for new strategies. To compare strategies for improving influenza vaccination coverage in persons older than 64 years. New strategies were introduced in our health care centre during 2013-2014 influenza vaccination campaign, which included vaccinating patients in homes for the aged as well as in the health care centre. A comparison was made on vaccination coverage over the last 4 years in 3 practices of our health care centre: P1, the general physician vaccinated patients older than 64 that came to the practice; P2, the general physician systematically insisted in vaccination in elderly patients, strongly advising to book appointments, and P3, the general physician did not insist. These practices looked after P1: 278; P2: 320; P3: 294 patients older than 64 years. Overall/P1/P2/P3 coverages in 2010: 51.2/51.4/55/46.9% (P=NS), in 2011: 52.4/52.9/53.8/50.3% (P=NS), in 2012: 51.9/52.5/55.3/47.6% (P=NS), and in 2013: 63.5/79.1/59.7/52.7 (P=.000, P1 versus P2 and P3; P=NS between P2 and P3). Comparing the coverages in 2012-2013 within each practice P1 (P=.000); P2 (P=.045); P3 (P=.018). In P2 and P3 all vaccinations were given by the nurses as previously scheduled. In P3, 55% of the vaccinations were given by the nurses, 24.1% by the GP, 9.7% rejected vaccination, and the remainder did not come to the practice during the vaccination period (October 2013-February 2014). The strategy of vaccinating in the homes for the aged improved the vaccination coverage by 5% in each practice. The strategy of "I've got you here, I jab you here" in P1 improved the vaccination coverage by 22%. Copyright © 2014 Sociedad Española de Médicos de Atención Primaria (SEMERGEN). Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.
Song, Kuimeng; Scott, Anthony; Sivey, Peter; Meng, Qingyue
Local primary care facilities in China struggle to recruit and retain doctors and nurses. Implementing policies to address this issue requires detailed knowledge of the preferences of primary care workers. The aim of this study is to find out which job attributes affect Chinese primary care providers' choice of job and whether there are any differences in these job preferences between doctors and nurses. A discrete choice experiment was used to analyse the job preferences of 517 primary care providers, including 282 doctors and 235 nurses. Chinese primary care providers in Community Health Organizations (CHOs) considered monetary factors and non-monetary factors when choosing a job. Doctors' and nurses' preferences over job attributes were similar. Though income was important, Chinese primary care providers had strongest preferences for sufficient welfare benefits, sufficient essential equipment and respect from the community. Younger primary care providers were more likely to value training and career development opportunities. In order to retain skilled primary care providers to work in CHOs, policymakers in China need to improve primary care providers' income, benefits and working conditions to fulfil their basic needs. Policymakers also need to invest in CHOs' infrastructure and strengthen training programmes for primary care providers in order to raise the community's confidence in the services provided by CHOs. Published by Oxford University Press in association with The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine © The Author 2013; all rights reserved.
Navarro-Martínez, A; Suárez-Beke, M P; Sánchez-Nicolás, J A; Lázaro-Aragues, P; de Jesús Jiménez-Vázquez, E; Huertas-de Mora, O
The aim of this study was to evaluate and improve the quality of medical care provided to diabetic patients following the standards proposed by the American Diabetes Association. The study was conducted in three phases by analyzing data from the computerized clinical history of a sample of 340 patients. First phase (2010): cross-sectional, descriptive study which assessed the proportion of patients who met the standards related to the screening of diabetes, and goals of control and treatment. Subsequently, health professionals reviewed the results in order to promote the implementation of corrective action. Finally (2012), a new assessment with the same standards was performed. An increase in the number of patients treated with insulin (12.7% in 2010 and 20.2% in 2012) was observed (P < .01). There were also percentage increases in the number of patients who met the screening standards as regards analytical determinations: glycosylated hemoglobin (from 44.4% to 68.2%), lipid profile (47.6%-73.8%), creatinine (32.5% - 73.5%), and albumin-creatinine ratio (9.2%-24.4%) (P < .001). Only 6.4% (CI: 3.2- 9.8) of diabetic patients attained the composite target of glycosylated hemoglobin < 7%, blood pressure < 130/80 mmHg and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol < 100 mg/dl in 2012. This study shows that medical care has improved the goals related to analytical determinations and the number of insulin-treated diabetic type 2 patients. An optimal level was also maintained in metabolic control of diabetes, but there was still poor control of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Copyright © 2014 SECA. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
Van Houdt, Sabine; Heyrman, Jan; Vanhaecht, Kris; Sermeus, Walter; De Lepeleire, Jan
Care pathways are widely used in hospitals to improve quality. There is a growing interest in extending care pathways into primary care. There is little evidence on the relationship between care pathways across the primary-hospital care continuum and improvement in quality of care. Members of primary and hospital care services in the region of Bruges (Belgium) developed a care pathway for radical prostatectomy patients. An evaluation of this care pathway encountered some problems. To assess if a revision of the care pathway would improve quality of care enhancing patient outcomes. An exploratory trial was performed to test the feasibility of quality measurement, the possible intervention effect and recruitment. A pre-post-intervention postal survey was used. Quality of care was translated into process and outcome indicators. These indicators were measured in two groups receiving a postal questionnaire: one group before (pre-intervention) and another group after implementation (post-intervention). A Fisher's exact test was used to compare differences for dichotomous variables, and a Mann-Whitney U-test to compare ordinal and continuous variables. Observed improvements in process and outcome indicators were not statistically significant after correcting for multiple testing: 95.1% of patients received the information pack during the pre-operative consultation (versus 81.0% in the pre-intervention), 86.0% of the patients consulted a physiotherapist who specialised in pelvic floor muscle exercise treatment (versus 56.0% in the pre-intervention) and no patients experienced pain (versus 13.6% in the pre-intervention). No changes were observed for communication and co-ordination between caregivers. Given the background of scarce evidence on the quality improvement effect of care pathways between primary and hospital care, this exploratory trial provides information about the quality measurement, the possible intervention effect and recruitment. The quality improvement
Chen, Alice W; Kazanjian, Arminée
Background The utilization of health care providers who share the language and culture of their patients has been advocated as a strategy to improve access to the mental health care of immigrants. This study examines the relationship between patients receiving primary care from health care providers who speak Chinese and the rate of mental health diagnosis and consultation among Chinese immigrants in British Columbia (BC), Canada. Methods The study analyzed 3 linked administrative databases: an immigration database, BC’s health databases and BC’s physician register. The study population consisted of more than 270 000 recent Chinese immigrants to BC, with sex and age-matched comparison subjects. We calculated the odds ratios (ORs) of being diagnosed with common mental health conditions and the rate ratios (RRs) of mental health visits per year of health plan registration, by proportion of general care received from Chinese-speaking physicians; this was done using logistic regression and generalized linear models, adjusting for sex, age and time registered in the health plan. Results Among Chinese immigrants, a higher proportion of care received from Chinese-speaking general practitioners (GPs) was associated with a lower probability of being diagnosed with neurotic disorders (OR = 0.87; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.80–0.95), drug dependence (OR = 0.22; 95% CI 0.14–0.35), adjustment reaction (OR = 0.39; 95% CI 0.33–0.46) and depressive disorder not elsewhere classified (OR = 0.47; 95% CI 0.42–0.52), as well as a lower rate of mental health service utilization (RR = 0.65%; 95% CI 0.61–0.69). Among the comparison group, a higher proportion of primary care received from Chinese-speaking GPs was associated with a lower probability of being diagnosed with affective psychoses (OR = 0.53; 95% CI 0.47–0.59), neurotic disorders (OR = 0.49; 95% CI 0.47–0.51), drug dependence (OR = 0.28; 95% CI 0.24–0.32), acute reaction to stress
Katon, W; Robinson, P; Von Korff, M; Lin, E; Bush, T; Ludman, E; Simon, G; Walker, E
This research study evaluates the effectiveness of a multifaceted intervention program to improve the management of depression in primary care. One hundred fifty-three primary care patients with current depression were entered into a randomized controlled trial. Intervention patients received a structured depression treatment program in the primary care setting that included both behavioral treatment to increase use of adaptive coping strategies and counseling to improve medication adherence. Control patients received "usual" care by their primary care physicians. Outcome measures included adherence to antidepressant medication, satisfaction with care of depression and with antidepressant treatment, and reduction of depressive symptoms over time. At 4-month follow-up, significantly more intervention patients with major and minor depression than usual care patients adhered to antidepressant medication and rated the quality of care they received for depression as good to excellent. Intervention patients with major depression demonstrated a significantly greater decrease in depression severity over time compared with usual care patients on all 4 outcome analyses. Intervention patients with minor depression were found to have a significant decrease over time in depression severity on only 1 of 4 study outcome analyses compared with usual care patients. A multifaceted primary care intervention improved adherence to antidepressant regimens and satisfaction with care in patients with major and minor depression. The intervention consistently resulted in more favorable depression outcomes among patients with major depression, while outcome effects were ambiguous among patients with minor depression.
Campbell, Stephen M; Sweeney, Grace M
This power considers the process of implementing clinical governance in primary care and its impact on quality improvement. It discuss how clinical governance is being implemented both at the level of Primary Care Organisations and general practices, and the challenges to implementing clinical governance. It also suggests a model for promoting the factors that will help clinical governance improve quality of care. The experience of implementing clinical governance is broadly positive to date. However, the government needs to match its commitment to a ten-year programme of change with realistic timetables to secure the cultural and organisational changes needed to improve quality of care. PMID:12389764
People who are homeless encounter barriers to primary care despite having greater needs for health care, on average, than people who are not homeless. We evaluated the effectiveness of interventions to improve access to primary care for people who are homeless. We performed a systematic review to identify studies in English published between January 1, 1995, and July 8, 2015, comparing interventions to improve access to a primary care provider with usual care among people who are homeless. The outcome of interest was access to a primary care provider. The risk of bias in the studies was evaluated, and the quality of the evidence was assessed according to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) Working Group criteria. From a total of 4,047 citations, we identified five eligible studies (one randomized controlled trial and four observational studies). With the exception of the randomized trial, the risk of bias was considered high in the remaining studies. In the randomized trial, people who were homeless, without serious mental illness, and who received either an outreach intervention plus clinic orientation or clinic orientation alone, had improved access to a primary care provider compared with those receiving usual care. An observational study that compared integration of primary care and other services for people who are homeless with usual care did not observe any difference in access to a primary care provider between the two groups. A small observational study showed improvement among participants with a primary care provider after receiving an intervention consisting of housing and supportive services compared with the period before the intervention. The quality of the evidence was considered moderate for both the outreach plus clinic orientation and clinic orientation alone, and low to very low for the other interventions. Despite limitations, the literature identified reports of interventions developed to overcome
Background People who are homeless encounter barriers to primary care despite having greater needs for health care, on average, than people who are not homeless. We evaluated the effectiveness of interventions to improve access to primary care for people who are homeless. Methods We performed a systematic review to identify studies in English published between January 1, 1995, and July 8, 2015, comparing interventions to improve access to a primary care provider with usual care among people who are homeless. The outcome of interest was access to a primary care provider. The risk of bias in the studies was evaluated, and the quality of the evidence was assessed according to the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) Working Group criteria. Results From a total of 4,047 citations, we identified five eligible studies (one randomized controlled trial and four observational studies). With the exception of the randomized trial, the risk of bias was considered high in the remaining studies. In the randomized trial, people who were homeless, without serious mental illness, and who received either an outreach intervention plus clinic orientation or clinic orientation alone, had improved access to a primary care provider compared with those receiving usual care. An observational study that compared integration of primary care and other services for people who are homeless with usual care did not observe any difference in access to a primary care provider between the two groups. A small observational study showed improvement among participants with a primary care provider after receiving an intervention consisting of housing and supportive services compared with the period before the intervention. The quality of the evidence was considered moderate for both the outreach plus clinic orientation and clinic orientation alone, and low to very low for the other interventions. Despite limitations, the literature identified reports of
Shaw, Judith S; Norlin, Chuck; Gillespie, R J; Weissman, Mark; McGrath, Jane
Improvement partnerships (IPs) are a model for collaboration among public and private organizations that share interests in improving child health and the quality of health care delivered to children. Their partners typically include state public health and Medicaid agencies, the local chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and an academic health care organization or children's hospital. Most IPs also engage other partners, including a variety of public, private, and professional organizations and individuals. IPs lead and support measurement-based, systems-focused quality improvement (QI) efforts that primarily target primary care practices that care for children. Their projects are most often conducted as learning collaboratives that involve a team from each of 8 to 15 participating practices over 9 to 12 months. The improvement teams typically include a clinician, office manager, clinical staff (nurses or medical assistants), and, for some projects, a parent; the IPs provide the staff and local infrastructure. The projects target clinical topics, chosen because of their importance to public health, local clinicians, and funding agencies, including asthma, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism, developmental screening, obesity, mental health, medical home implementation, and several others. Over the past 13 years, 19 states have developed (and 5 are exploring developing) IPs. These organizations share similar aims and methods but differ substantially in leadership, structure, funding, and longevity. Their projects generally engage pediatric and family medicine practices ranging from solo private practices to community health centers to large corporate practices. The practices learn about the project topic and about QI, develop specific improvement strategies and aims that align with the project aims, perform iterative measures to evaluate and guide their improvements, and implement systems and processes to support and sustain those improvements
Percival, Nikki; O’Donoghue, Lynette; Lin, Vivian; Tsey, Komla; Bailie, Ross Stewart
Although some areas of clinical health care are becoming adept at implementing continuous quality improvement (CQI) projects, there has been limited experimentation of CQI in health promotion. In this study, we examined the impact of a CQI intervention on health promotion in four Australian Indigenous primary health care centers. Our study objectives were to (a) describe the scope and quality of health promotion activities, (b) describe the status of health center system support for health promotion activities, and (c) introduce a CQI intervention and examine the impact on health promotion activities and health centers systems over 2 years. Baseline assessments showed suboptimal health center systems support for health promotion and significant evidence-practice gaps. After two annual CQI cycles, there were improvements in staff understanding of health promotion and systems for planning and documenting health promotion activities had been introduced. Actions to improve best practice health promotion, such as community engagement and intersectoral partnerships, were inhibited by the way health center systems were organized, predominately to support clinical and curative services. These findings suggest that CQI can improve the delivery of evidence-based health promotion by engaging front line health practitioners in decision-making processes about the design/redesign of health center systems to support the delivery of best practice health promotion. However, further and sustained improvements in health promotion will require broader engagement of management, senior staff, and members of the local community to address organizational and policy level barriers. PMID:27066470
Percival, Nikki; O'Donoghue, Lynette; Lin, Vivian; Tsey, Komla; Bailie, Ross Stewart
Although some areas of clinical health care are becoming adept at implementing continuous quality improvement (CQI) projects, there has been limited experimentation of CQI in health promotion. In this study, we examined the impact of a CQI intervention on health promotion in four Australian Indigenous primary health care centers. Our study objectives were to (a) describe the scope and quality of health promotion activities, (b) describe the status of health center system support for health promotion activities, and (c) introduce a CQI intervention and examine the impact on health promotion activities and health centers systems over 2 years. Baseline assessments showed suboptimal health center systems support for health promotion and significant evidence-practice gaps. After two annual CQI cycles, there were improvements in staff understanding of health promotion and systems for planning and documenting health promotion activities had been introduced. Actions to improve best practice health promotion, such as community engagement and intersectoral partnerships, were inhibited by the way health center systems were organized, predominately to support clinical and curative services. These findings suggest that CQI can improve the delivery of evidence-based health promotion by engaging front line health practitioners in decision-making processes about the design/redesign of health center systems to support the delivery of best practice health promotion. However, further and sustained improvements in health promotion will require broader engagement of management, senior staff, and members of the local community to address organizational and policy level barriers.
Pourat, Nadereh; Martinez, Ana E; Crall, James J
Community Health Centers (CHCs) are one of the principal safety-net providers of health care for low-income and uninsured populations. Co-locating dental services in primary care settings provides an opportunity to improve access to dental care. Yet this study of California CHCs that provide primary care services shows that only about one-third of them co-located primary and dental care services on-site. An additional one-third were members of multisite organizations in which at least one other site provided dental care. The remaining one-third of CHC sites had no dental care capacity. Policy options to promote co-location include requiring on-site availability of dental services, providing infrastructure funding to build and equip dental facilities, and offering financial incentives to provide dental care and recruit dental providers.
Irwin, Ryan; Stokes, Tim; Marshall, Tom
To present an overview of effective interventions for quality improvement in primary care at the practice level utilising existing systematic reviews. Quality improvement in primary care involves a range of approaches from the system-level to patient-level improvement. One key setting in which quality improvement needs to occur is at the level of the basic unit of primary care--the individual general practice. Therefore, there is a need for practitioners to have access to an overview of the effectiveness of quality improvement interventions available in this setting. A tertiary evidence synthesis was conducted (a review of systematic reviews). A systematic approach was used to identify and summarise published literature relevant to understanding primary-care quality improvement at the practice level. Quality assessment was via the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool for systematic reviews, with data extraction identifying evidence of effect for the examined interventions. Included reviews had to be relevant to quality improvement at the practice level and relevant to the UK primary-care context. Reviews were excluded if describing system-level interventions. A range of measures across care structure, process and outcomes were defined and interpreted across the quality improvement interventions. Audit and feedback, computerised advice, point-of-care reminders, practice facilitation, educational outreach and processes for patient review and follow-up all demonstrated evidence of a quality improvement effect. Evidence of an improvement effect was higher where baseline performance was low and was particularly demonstrated across process measures and measures related to prescribing. Evidence was not sufficient to suggest that multifaceted approaches were more effective than single interventions. Evidence exists for a range of quality improvement interventions at the primary-care practice level. More research is required to determine the use and impact of quality
Aljuburi, Ghida; Phekoo, Karen J; Okoye, Nv Ogo; Anie, Kofie; Green, Stuart A; Nkohkwo, Asaah; Ojeer, Patrick; Ndive, Comfort; Banarsee, Ricky; Oni, Lola; Majeed, Azeem
To assess sickle cell disease (SCD) patient and carer perspectives on the primary care services related to SCD that they receive from their general practitioner (GP). A focus group discussion was used to elicit the views of patients about the quality of care they receive from their primary health-care providers and what they thought was the role of primary care in SCD management. The focus group discussion was video recorded. The recording was then examined by the project team and recurring themes were identified. A comparison was made with notes made by two scribes also present at the discussion. Sickle Cell Society in Brent, UK. Ten participants with SCD or caring for someone with SCD from Northwest London, UK. Patients' perceptions about the primary care services they received, and a list of key themes and suggestions. Patients and carers often bypassed GPs for acute problems but felt that GPs had an important role to play around repeat prescriptions and general health care. These service users believed SCD is often ignored and deemed unimportant by GPs. Participants wanted the health service to support primary health-care providers to improve their knowledge and understanding of SCD. Key themes and suggestions from this focus group have been used to help develop an educational intervention for general practice services that will be used to improve SCD management in primary care.
Ziemer, David C; Doyle, Joyce P; Barnes, Catherine S; Branch, William T; Cook, Curtiss B; El-Kebbi, Imad M; Gallina, Daniel L; Kolm, Paul; Rhee, Mary K; Phillips, Lawrence S
Although clinical trials have shown that proper management of diabetes can improve outcomes, and treatment guidelines are widespread, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels in the United States are rising. Since process measures are improving, poor glycemic control may reflect the failure of health care providers to intensify diabetes therapy when indicated--clinical inertia. We asked whether interventions aimed at health care provider behavior could overcome this barrier and improve glycemic control. In a 3-year trial, 345 internal medicine residents were randomized to be controls or to receive computerized reminders providing patient-specific recommendations at each visit and/or feedback on performance every 2 weeks. When glucose levels exceeded 150 mg/dL (8.33 mmol/L) during visits of 4038 patients, health care provider behavior was characterized as did nothing, did anything (any intensification of therapy), or did enough (if intensification met recommendations). At baseline, residents did anything for 35% of visits and did enough for 21% of visits when changes in therapy were indicated, and there were no differences among intervention groups. During the trial, intensification increased most during the first year and then declined. However, intensification increased more in the feedback alone and feedback plus reminders groups than for reminders alone and control groups (P<.001). After 3 years, health care provider behavior in the reminders alone and control groups returned to baseline, whereas improvement with feedback alone and feedback plus reminders groups was sustained: 52% did anything, and 30% did enough (P<.001 for both vs the reminders alone and control groups). Multivariable analysis showed that feedback on performance contributed independently to intensification and that intensification contributed independently to fall in HbA1c (P<.001 for both). Feedback on performance given to medical resident primary care providers improved provider behavior and
Tapp, Hazel; White, Lauren; Steuerwald, Mark; Dulin, Michael
Community-based participatory research (CBPR) has emerged to bridge the gap between research and primary-care practice through community engagement and social action to increase health equity. It is widely acknowledged that access to high-quality primary care services is important to the overall health of a community. Here, CBPR studies in a primary care setting are reviewed to assess the use of CBPR associated with common health problems seen in primary care such as access to care and disparities in chronic disease management across vulnerable populations. CBPR involves building relationships with local communities, determining areas of need and establishing priorities for health concerns. Studies showing improved access to care for a Hispanic population, reduced asthma symptoms and weight loss are highlighted. PMID:24236682
Bryan, Craig J.; Corso, Meghan L.; Corso, Kent A.; Morrow, Chad E.; Kanzler, Kathryn E.; Ray-Sannerud, Bobbie
Objective: To model typical trajectories for improvement among patients treated in an integrated primary care behavioral health service, multilevel models were used to explore the relationship between baseline mental health impairment level and eventual mental health functioning across follow-up appointments. Method: Data from 495 primary care…
Harrison, R. Van; Standiford, Connie J.; Green, Lee A.; Bernstein, Steven J.
Introduction: In 1996 the University of Michigan Health System created the Guidelines Utilization, Implementation, Development, and Evaluation Studies (GUIDES) unit to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of primary care for common medical problems. GUIDES's primary functions are to oversee the development of evidence-based, practical…
Harrison, R. Van; Standiford, Connie J.; Green, Lee A.; Bernstein, Steven J.
Introduction: In 1996 the University of Michigan Health System created the Guidelines Utilization, Implementation, Development, and Evaluation Studies (GUIDES) unit to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of primary care for common medical problems. GUIDES's primary functions are to oversee the development of evidence-based, practical…
Carta, MG; Petretto, D; Adamo, S; Bhat, KM; Lecca, ME; Mura, G; Carta, V; Angermeyer, M; Moro, MF
Introduction: To measure the effectiveness on Quality of Life of adjunctive cognitive behavioral counseling in the setting of General Practitioners (GPs) along with the treatment as usual (TAU;) for the treatment of depression. Methods: Six month-controlled trial of patients who were referred to randomly assigned GPs (four for experimental group of patients and ten for the control) was done. Experimental sample had 34 patients with DSM-IV diagnosis of Depression (Depressed Episode, Dysthymia, or Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood) receiving the TAU supplemented with counseling. Control group had 30 patients with diagnosis of Depression receiving only the TAU. Results: The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) score improved in both groups. Patients in the experimental group showed greater improvement compared to the control group at T2. The World Health Organization Quality OF Life Questionnaire (WHOQOL) score also improved in the experimental group but not in the control group. The improvement in the experimental group was statistically significant in terms of both BDI and WHOQOL scores. Conclusions: Adding counseling to TAU in general medical practice settings is more effective in controlling the symptoms of depression and improving the quality of life as measured over a period of six months, than TAU alone. These results while encouraging, also calls for a larger study involving a largersample size and a longer period of time. PMID:23173011
Chapman, Jenifer L; Zechel, Annegret; Carter, Yvonne H; Abbott, Stephen
Background: In England, there are particularly pressing problems concerning access to adequate primary care services. Consequently, innovative ways of delivering primary care have been introduced to facilitate and broaden access. Aims: The aim of this study was to review the evidence of seven recent innovations in service provision to improve access or equity in access to primary care, by performing a systematic review of the literature. Design of study: Systematic review. Setting: Primary care in the United Kingdom (UK). Method: Seven electronic databases were searched and key journals were hand-searched. Unpublished and ‘grey’ literature were sought via the Internet and through professional contacts. Intervention studies addressing one of seven recent innovations and conducted in the UK during the last 20 years were included. Two researchers independently assessed the quality of papers. Results: Thirty studies (32 papers and two reports) were identified overall. Variation in study design and outcome measures made comparisons difficult. However, there was some evidence to suggest that access is improved by changing the ways in which primary care is delivered. First-wave personal medical services pilots facilitated improvements in access to primary care in previously under-served areas and/or populations. Walk-in centres and NHS Direct have provided additional access to primary care for white middle-class patients; there is some evidence suggesting that these innovations have increased access inequalities. There is some evidence that telephone consultations with GPs or nurses can safely substitute face-to-face consultations, although it is not clear that this reduces the number of face-to-face consultations over time. Nurse practitioners and community pharmacists can manage common conditions without the patient consulting a general practitioner. Conclusion: The evidence is insufficient to make clear recommendations regarding ways to improve access to primary
Gannon, Meghan; Qaseem, Amir; Snow, Vincenza
Morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes make it a prime target for quality improvement research. Quality gaps and racial/gender disparities persist throughout this population of patients necessitating a sustainable improvement in the clinical management of diabetes. The authors of this study sought (1) to provide a population perspective on diabetes management, and (2) to reinforce evidence-based clinical guidelines through a Web-based educational module.The project also aimed to gain insight into working remotely with a community of rural physicians. This longitudinal pre-post intervention study involved 18 internal medicine physicians and included 3 points of medical record data abstraction over 24 months. A Web-based educational module was introduced after the baseline data abstraction. This module contained chapters on clinical education, practice tools, and self-assessment. The results showed a sustained improvement in most clinical outcomes and demonstrated the effectiveness of using Web-based mediums to reinforce clinical guidelines and change physician behavior.
Goetz, Katja; Hess, Sigrid; Jossen, Marianne; Huber, Felix; Rosemann, Thomas; Brodowski, Marc; Künzi, Beat; Szecsenyi, Joachim
Objectives To examine the effectiveness of the quality management programme—European Practice Assessment—in primary care in Switzerland. Design Longitudinal study with three points of measurement. Setting Primary care practices in Switzerland. Participants In total, 45 of 91 primary care practices completed European Practice Assessment three times. Outcomes The interval between each assessment was around 36 months. A variance analyses for repeated measurements were performed for all 129 quality indicators from the domains: ‘infrastructure’, ‘information’, ‘finance’, and ‘quality and safety’ to examine changes over time. Results Significant improvements were found in three of four domains: ‘quality and safety’ (F=22.81, p<0.01), ‘information’ (F=27.901, p<0.01) and ‘finance’ (F=4.073, p<0.02). The 129 quality indicators showed a significant improvement within the three points of measurement (F=33.864, p<0.01). Conclusions The European Practice Assessment for primary care practices thus provides a functioning quality management programme, focusing on the sustainable improvement of structural and organisational aspects to promote high quality of primary care. The implementation of a quality management system which also includes a continuous improvement process would give added value to provide good care. PMID:25900466
Phillips, Lawrence S; Hertzberg, Vicki S; Cook, Curtiss B; El-Kebbi, Imad M; Gallina, Daniel L; Ziemer, David C; Miller, Christopher D; Doyle, Joyce P; Barnes, Catherine S; Slocum, Wrenn; Lyles, Robert H; Hayes, Risa P; Thompson, Dennis N; Ballard, David J; McClellan, William M; Branch, William T
African Americans have an increased burden of both diabetes and diabetes complications. Since many patients have high glucose levels novel interventions are needed, especially for urban patients with limited resources. In the Grady Diabetes Clinic in Atlanta, a stepped care strategy improves metabolic control. However, most diabetes patients do not receive specialized care. We will attempt to translate diabetes clinic approaches to the primary care setting by implementing a novel partnership between specialists and generalists. We hypothesize that endocrinologist-supported strategies aimed at providers will result in effective diabetes management in primary care sites, and the Improving Primary Care of African Americans with Diabetes project will test this hypothesis in a major randomized, controlled trial involving over 2000 patients. Physicians in Grady Medical Clinic units will receive (1) usual care, (2) computerized reminders that recommend individualized changes in therapy and/or (3) directed discussion by endocrinologists providing feedback on performance. We will measure outcomes related to both microvascular disease (HbA1c, which reflects average glucose levels over an approximately 2-month period) and macrovascular disease (blood pressure and lipids) and assess provider performance as well. We will compare two readily generalizable program interventions that should delineate approaches effective in a primary care setting as needed to improve care and prevent complications in urban African Americans with type 2 diabetes. Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Inc.
Goldberg, Debora Goetz; Mick, Stephen S; Kuzel, Anton J; Feng, Lisa Bo; Love, Linda E
Objective To understand what motivates primary care practices to engage in practice improvement, identify external and internal facilitators and barriers, and refine a conceptual framework. Data Sources In-depth interviews and structured telephone surveys with clinicians and practice staff (n = 51), observations, and document reviews. Study Design Comparative case study of primary care practices (n = 8) to examine aspects of the practice and environment that influence engagement in improvement activities. Data Collection Methods Three on-site visits, telephone interviews, and two surveys. Principal Findings Pressures from multiple sources create conflicting forces on primary care practices' improvement efforts. Pressures include incentives and requirements, organizational relationships, and access to resources. Culture, leadership priorities, values set by the physician(s), and other factors influence whether primary care practices engage in improvement efforts. Conclusions Most primary care practices are caught in a cross fire between two groups of pressures: a set of forces that push practices to remain with the status quo, the “15-minute per patient” approach, and another set of forces that press for major transformations. Our study illuminates the elements involved in the decision to stay with the status quo or to engage in practice improvement efforts needed for transformation. PMID:23034072
Tapp, Laura; Elwyn, Glyn; Edwards, Adrian; Holm, Søren; Eriksson, Tina
Quality improvement (QI) processes in family medicine are becoming increasingly complex. Their influence on the organisation of the sector and on the daily work processes is profound and increasing. The literature indicates that many ethical issues are arising from QI work. Therefore this paper aims to identify the experiences of professionals involved in planning and performing QI programmes in European family medicine on the ethical implications involved in those processes. Four focus groups were carried out with 29 general practitioners (GPs) and administrators of general practice quality work in Europe. Two focus groups comprised EQuiP members and two focus groups comprised attendees to an invitational conference on QI in family medicine held by EQuiP in Barcelona in November 2006. Four overarching themes were identified, including implications of using patient data, prioritising QI projects, issues surrounding the ethical approval dilemma and the impact of QI. Each theme was accompanied by an identified solution. Prioritising is necessary and in doing that GPs should ensure that a variety of work is conducted so that some patient groups are not neglected. Transparency and flexibility on various levels is necessary to avoid harmful consequences of QI in terms of bureaucratisation, increased workload and burnout on part of the GP and harmful effects on the doctor-patient relationship. There is a need to address the system of approval for national QI programmes and QI projects utilising more sophisticated methodologies. This study provides data from GPs who are experienced quality improvers across 17 countries. Many ethical issues were identified and it was possible to clearly map the themes and their relationships and to summarise the identified solutions from an international perspective.
Watts, Brook; Lawrence, Renée H; Singh, Simran; Wagner, Carol; Augustine, Sarah; Singh, Mamta K
Continuous quality improvement (QI) is important to primary care in general, and is emphasized as a key tenet of the primary care patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model. While team-based QI activities within the PCMH model are expected, concerns exist as to how successful efforts have been at implementing team-driven QI projects. To (a) identify opportunities and challenges to QI efforts in a large primary care practice in order to (b) develop action plans to facilitate QI work into primary care teams. We obtained qualitative and quantitative information about existing primary care team QI initiatives. Eleven interdisciplinary primary care teams and 4 facilitators/coaches. We conducted unstructured interviews and gathered documentation from primary care team members about QI efforts to (a) characterize team-based QI progress and (b) identify barriers and facilitators. In the 18 months since local leadership prioritized conducting team-based QI projects, team members described multiple exposures to QI training, coaching resources, and data/analysis support. No team developed a formal aim statement. Six of the 11 teams completed any steps beyond the initial team discussion. Four teams attempted to apply an intervention. Challenges included team time and competing demands/priorities; 3 of the 4 teams attempting to implement a project credited a data/informatics facilitator for their progress. In this large academic primary care clinic setting, interdisciplinary team training in QI, support for data collection, and dedicated coaching resources produced few sustainable continuous QI initiatives. Several potentially modifiable barriers to initiation, completion, and sustainability of QI initiatives by primary care teams were identified.
Harris, Diane J
Influencing clinicians' prescribing behaviour is important because inappropriate use and overuse of antibiotics are major drivers of antibiotic resistance. A systematic review of interventions for promoting prudent prescribing of antibiotics by general practitioners suggests that multifaceted interventions will maximize acceptability. This article reports how this type of approach has been used successfully in Derbyshire, UK over the last 4 years. The range of interventions that have been used includes educational meetings (both open group events and others targeted at higher prescribers in the surgery) using a supportive and guiding ethos; the provision of support materials aimed at empowering avoidance or delayed antibiotic prescribing, where appropriate, and improving patients' knowledge and confidence in self-management; and the production of different treatment guidelines incorporating key messages with evidence, indicating where antibiotics are unlikely to be of benefit. Education on antibiotics in schools was a novel approach, which was developed in North Derbyshire to increase public awareness of the appropriate treatment for common illnesses without using antibiotics.
Olayiwola, J Nwando; Rubin, Ashley; Slomoff, Theo; Woldeyesus, Tem; Willard-Grace, Rachel
The use of electronic health records (EHRs) and the vendors that develop them have increased exponentially in recent years. While there continues to emerge literature on the challenges EHRs have created related to primary care provider satisfaction and workflow, there is sparse literature on the perspective of the EHR vendors themselves. We examined the role of EHR vendors in optimizing primary care practice through a qualitative study of vendor leadership and developers representing 8 companies. We found that EHR vendors apply a range of strategies to elicit feedback from their clinical users and to engage selected users in their development and design process, but priorities are heavily influenced by the macroenvironment and government regulations. To improve the "marriage" between primary care and the EHR vendor community, we propose 6 strategies that may be most impactful for primary care stakeholders seeking to influence EHR development processes.
Improve Military Mental Health Screening. Oral presentation to the American Psychological Association Annual Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii. Douglas, S...Brown, J., Zachary, C., et al. (2008). Improving child and parent mental health in primary care: a cluster-randomized trial of communication skills...treatments. It has been suggested that greater confidence in effective treatment could reduce the stigma associated with mental health disorders
Hutchison, Brian; Glazier, Richard
Primary care in Ontario, Canada, has undergone a series of reforms designed to improve access to care, patient and provider satisfaction, care quality, and health system efficiency and sustainability. We highlight key features of the reforms, which included patient enrollment with a primary care provider; funding for interprofessional primary care organizations; and physician reimbursement based on varying blends of fee-for-service, capitation, and pay-for-performance. With nearly 75 percent of Ontario's population now enrolled in these new models, total payments to primary care physicians increased by 32 percent between 2006 and 2010, and the proportion of Ontario primary care physicians who reported overall satisfaction with the practice of medicine rose from 76 percent in 2009 to 84 percent in 2012. However, primary care in Ontario also faces challenges. There is no meaningful performance measurement system that tracks the impact of these innovations, for example. A better system of risk adjustment is also needed in capitated plans so that groups have the incentive to take on high-need patients. Ongoing investment in these models is required despite fiscal constraints. We recommend a clearly articulated policy road map to continue the transformation.
Øvretveit, John; Ramsay, Patricia; Shortell, Stephen M; Brommels, Mats
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to identify opportunities for improving primary care services for people with chronic illnesses by comparing how Sweden and US services use evidence-based practices (EBPs), including digital health technologies (DHTs). Design/methodology/approach - A national primary healthcare center (PHCC) heads surveys in 2012-2013 carried out in both countries in 2006. Findings - There are large variations between the two countries. The largest, regarding effective DHT use in primary care centers, were that few Swedish primary healthcare compared to US heads reported having reminders or prompts at the point of care (38 percent Sweden vs 84 percent USA), despite Sweden's established electronic medical records (EMR). Swedish heads also reported 30 percent fewer centers receiving laboratory results (67 percent Sweden vs 97 percent USA). Regarding following other EBPs, 70 percent of Swedish center heads reported their physicians had easy access to diabetic patient lists compared to 14 percent in the USA. Most Swedish PHCC heads (96 percent) said they offered same day appointment compared to 36 percent in equivalent US practices. Practical implications - There are opportunities for improvement based on significant differences in effective practices between the countries, which demonstrates to primary care leaders that their peers elsewhere potentially provide better care for people with chronic illnesses. Some improvements are under primary care center control and can be made quickly. There is evidence that people with chronic illnesses in these two countries are suffering unnecessarily owing to primary care staff failing to provide proven EBP, which would better meet patient needs. Public finance has been invested in DHT, which are not being used to their full potential. Originality/value - The study shows the gaps between current and potential proven effective EBPs for services to patients with chronic conditions. Findings suggest possible
Bold steps are necessary to improve quality of care for patients with chronic diseases and increase satisfaction of both primary care physicians and patients. Office-based chronic disease management (CDM) workers can achieve these objectives by offering self-management support, maintaining disease registries, and monitoring compliance from the point of care. CDM workers can provide the missing link by connecting patients, primary care physicans, and CDM services sponsored by health plans or in the community. CDM workers should be supported financially by Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial health plans through reimbursements to physicians for units of service, analogous to California's Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program. Care provided by CDM workers should be standardized, and training requirements should be sufficiently flexible to ensure wide dissemination. CDM workers can potentially improve quality while reducing costs for preventable hospitalizations and emergency department visits, but evaluation at multiple levels is recommended.
Korom-Djakovic, Danijela; Canamucio, Anne; Lempa, Michele; Yano, Elizabeth M; Long, Judith A
This study examined how aspects of quality improvement (QI) culture changed during the introduction of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patient-centered medical home initiative and how they were influenced by existing organizational factors, including VHA facility complexity and practice location. A voluntary survey, measuring primary care providers' (PCPs') perspectives on QI culture at their primary care clinics, was administered in 2010 and 2012. Participants were 320 PCPs from hospital- and community-based primary care practices in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio. PCPs in community-based outpatient clinics reported an improvement in established processes for QI, and communication and cooperation from 2010 to 2012. However, their peers in hospital-based clinics did not report any significant improvements in QI culture. In both years, compared with high-complexity facilities, medium- and low-complexity facilities had better scores on the scales assessing established processes for QI, and communication and cooperation.
Lemak, Christy Harris; Cohen, Genna R; Erb, Natalie
A health insurer in Michigan, through its Physician Group Incentive Program, engaged providers across the state in a collection of financially incentivized initiatives to transform primary care and improve quality. We investigated physicians' and other program stakeholders' perceptions of the program through semistructured interviews with more than 80 individuals. We found that activities across five areas contributed to successful provider engagement: (1) developing a vision of improving primary care, (2) deliberately fostering practice-practice partnerships, (3) using existing infrastructure, (4) leveraging resources and market share, and (5) managing program trade-offs. Our research highlights effective strategies for engaging primary care physicians in program design and implementation processes and creating learning communities to support quality improvement and practice change.
Farhat, Nada M; Bostwick, Jolene R; Rockafellow, Stuart D
The development of an outpatient psychiatry clinical practice learning experience for PGY2 ambulatory care pharmacy residents in preparation for the treatment of psychiatric disorders in the primary care setting is described. With the increased prevalence of psychiatric disorders, significant mortality, and limited access to care, integration of mental health treatment into the primary care setting is necessary to improve patient outcomes. Given the majority of mental health treatment occurs in the primary care setting, pharmacists in patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) are in a unique position with direct access to patients to effectively manage these illnesses. However, the increased need for pharmacist education and training in psychiatry has prompted a large, Midwestern academic health system to develop an outpatient psychiatry learning experience for PGY2 (Postgraduate Year 2) ambulatory care pharmacy residents in 2015. The goal of this learning experience is to introduce the PGY2 ambulatory care residents to the role and impact of psychiatric clinical pharmacists and to orient the residents to the basics of psychiatric pharmacotherapy to be applied to their future practice in the primary care setting. The development of an outpatient psychiatry learning experience for PGY2 ambulatory care pharmacy residents will allow for more integrated and comprehensive care for patients with psychiatric conditions, many of whom are treated and managed in the PCMH setting.
Nagykaldi, Zsolt; Fox, Chester; Gallo, Steve; Stone, Joseph; Fontaine, Patricia; Peterson, Kevin; Arvanitis, Theodoros
Access Grid (AG) is an Internet2-driven, high performance audio-visual conferencing technology used worldwide by academic and government organisations to enhance communication, human interaction and group collaboration. AG technology is particularly promising for improving academic multi-centre research collaborations. This manuscript describes how the AG technology was utilised by the electronic Primary Care Research Network (ePCRN) that is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Roadmap initiative to improve primary care research and collaboration among practice-based research networks (PBRNs) in the USA. It discusses the design, installation and use of AG implementations, potential future applications, barriers to adoption, and suggested solutions.
Background Meta-analyses show collaborative care models (CCMs) with nurse care management are effective for improving primary care for depression. This study aimed to develop CCM approaches that could be sustained and spread within Veterans Affairs (VA). Evidence-based quality improvement (EBQI) uses QI approaches within a research/clinical partnership to redesign care. The study used EBQI methods for CCM redesign, tested the effectiveness of the locally adapted model as implemented, and assessed the contextual factors shaping intervention effectiveness. Methods The study intervention is EBQI as applied to CCM implementation. The study uses a cluster randomized design as a formative evaluation tool to test and improve the effectiveness of the redesign process, with seven intervention and three non-intervention VA primary care practices in five different states. The primary study outcome is patient antidepressant use. The context evaluation is descriptive and uses subgroup analysis. The primary context evaluation measure is naturalistic primary care clinician (PCC) predilection to adopt CCM. For the randomized evaluation, trained telephone research interviewers enrolled consecutive primary care patients with major depression in the evaluation, referred enrolled patients in intervention practices to the implemented CCM, and re-surveyed at seven months. Results Interviewers enrolled 288 CCM site and 258 non-CCM site patients. Enrolled intervention site patients were more likely to receive appropriate antidepressant care (66% versus 43%, p = 0.01), but showed no significant difference in symptom improvement compared to usual care. In terms of context, only 40% of enrolled patients received complete care management per protocol. PCC predilection to adopt CCM had substantial effects on patient participation, with patients belonging to early adopter clinicians completing adequate care manager follow-up significantly more often than patients of clinicians with low
Thompson, Sandra C; Haynes, Emma; Woods, John A; Bessarab, Dawn C; Dimer, Lynette A; Wood, Marianne M; Sanfilippo, Frank M; Hamilton, Sandra J; Katzenellenbogen, Judith M
Background: The Aboriginal people of Australia have much poorer health and social indicators and a substantial life expectancy gap compared to other Australians, with premature cardiovascular disease a major contributor to poorer health. This article draws on research undertaken to examine cardiovascular disparities and focuses on ways in which primary care practitioners can contribute to reducing cardiovascular disparities and improving Aboriginal health. Methods: The overall research utilised mixed methods and included data analysis, interviews and group processes which included Aboriginal people, service providers and policymakers. Workshop discussions to identify barriers and what works were recorded by notes and on whiteboards, then distilled and circulated to participants and other stakeholders to refine and validate information. Additional engagement occurred through circulation of draft material and further discussions. This report distils the lessons for primary care practitioners to improve outcomes through management that is attentive to the needs of Aboriginal people. Results: Aspects of primordial, primary and secondary prevention are identified, with practical strategies for intervention summarised. The premature onset and high incidence of Aboriginal cardiovascular disease make prevention imperative and require that primary care practitioners understand and work to address the social underpinnings of poor health. Doctors are well placed to reinforce the importance of healthy lifestyle at all visits to involve the family and to reduce barriers which impede early care seeking. Ensuring better information for Aboriginal patients and better integrated care for patients who frequently have complex needs and multi-morbidities will also improve care outcomes. Conclusion: Primary care practitioners have an important role in improving Aboriginal cardiovascular care outcomes. It is essential that they recognise the special needs of their Aboriginal patients
Development of primary care in Japan in still relatively unorganized and unstructured. As mentioned above, the author describes some strengths and weaknesses of the Japanese primary care system. In addressing the weaknesses the following suggestions are offered for the Japanese primary care delivery system: Increase the number of emergency rooms for all day, especially on holidays and at night. Introduce an appointment system. Introduce an open system of hospitals. Coordinate with public hospitals and primary care clinics. Organize the referral system between private practitioners and community hospitals. Increase the number of paramedical staff. Strengthen group practice among primary care physicians. Increase the establishment of departments of primary care practice with government financial incentives to medical schools and teaching hospitals. Develop a more active and direct teaching role for primary care practice or family practice at undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. Improve and maintain present health insurance payment method, shifting from quantity of care to quality and continuity of care. Introduce formal continuing education. Introduce formal training programs of primary care and strengthen ambulatory care teaching programs.
Yawn, Barbara P; Bertram, Susan; Wollan, Peter
Primary care asthma management is often not compatible with national evidence-based guidelines. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility and impact of the Asthma APGAR tools to enhance implementation of asthma guideline-compatible management in primary care practices. Twenty-four primary care practices across the US. This is a mixed methods study. Quantitative data were used to assess changes in guideline recommended asthma management including use of daily controller therapy, planned care visits, and education and information documentation before and after implementation of the Asthma APGAR. Qualitative data from focus group sessions were used to assess health care professional and patient perceived usability and value of the Asthma APGAR tools during office visits for asthma. Implementing the Asthma APGAR tools in the 24 practices was associated with enhanced asthma visit-related medical record documentation including significant increases in recording of activity limitations due to asthma and asthma symptom frequency, asthma medication nonadherence, asthma triggers, and the patients' perceived response to therapy (p < 0.01 for each item). Some care processes also increased significantly including assessment of inhaler technique and prescribing of daily controller therapy among patients with persistent asthma. Focus groups of patients and of clinical staff reported that the Asthma APGAR tools were easy to use, "made sense" and "improved care" was given and received. The Asthma APGAR tools are feasible to implement in primary care practices and their implementation is associated with increased guideline-compliant asthma management.
Background Strengthening primary health care is critical to reducing health inequity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The Audit and Best practice for Chronic Disease Extension (ABCDE) project has facilitated the implementation of modern Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) approaches in Indigenous community health care centres across Australia. The project demonstrated improvements in health centre systems, delivery of primary care services and in patient intermediate outcomes. It has also highlighted substantial variation in quality of care. Through a partnership between academic researchers, service providers and policy makers, we are now implementing a study which aims to 1) explore the factors associated with variation in clinical performance; 2) examine specific strategies that have been effective in improving primary care clinical performance; and 3) work with health service staff, management and policy makers to enhance the effective implementation of successful strategies. Methods/Design The study will be conducted in Indigenous community health centres from at least six States/Territories (Northern Territory, Western Australia, New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria) over a five year period. A research hub will be established in each region to support collection and reporting of quantitative and qualitative clinical and health centre system performance data, to investigate factors affecting variation in quality of care and to facilitate effective translation of research evidence into policy and practice. The project is supported by a web-based information system, providing automated analysis and reporting of clinical care performance to health centre staff and management. Discussion By linking researchers directly to users of research (service providers, managers and policy makers), the partnership is well placed to generate new knowledge on effective strategies for improving the quality of primary health care and
medical centers provide veterans with timely access to outpatient primary and specialty care, as well as mental health care. (See app. I for the...D.C.: Oct. 8, 2015); and GAO, VA Mental Health: Clearer Guidance on Access Policies and Wait- Time Data Needed, GAO-16-24 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 28...21We recently reported that VA similarly focuses on only a portion of the overall time veterans wait to see mental health providers. See GAO-16-24
Background Quality improvement is attracting the attention of the primary health care system as a means by which to achieve higher quality patient care. Ontario, Canada has demonstrated leadership in terms of its improvement in healthcare, but the province lacks a structured framework by which it can consistently evaluate its quality improvement initiatives specific to the primary healthcare system. The intent of this research was to complete an environmental scan and capacity map of quality improvement activities being built in and by the primary healthcare sector (QI-PHC) in Ontario as a first step to developing a coordinated and sustainable framework of primary healthcare for the province. Methods Data were collected between January and July 2011 in collaboration with an advisory group of stakeholder representatives and quality improvement leaders in primary health care. Twenty participants were interviewed by telephone, followed by review of relevant websites and documents identified in the interviews. Data were systematically examined using Framework Analysis augmented by Prior’s approach to document analysis in an iterative process. Results The environmental scan identified many activities (n = 43) designed to strategically build QI-PHC capacity, identify promising QI-PHC practices and outcomes, scale up quality improvement-informed primary healthcare practice changes, and make quality improvement a core organizational strategy in health care delivery, which were grouped into clusters. Cluster 1 was composed of initiatives in the form of on-going programs that deliberately incorporated long-term quality improvement capacity building through province-wide reach. Cluster 2 represented activities that were time-limited (research, pilot, or demonstration projects) with the primary aim of research production. The activities of most primary health care practitioners, managers, stakeholder organizations and researchers involved in this scan demonstrated a
Eccles, Martin P; Hawthorne, Gillian; Johnston, Marie; Hunter, Margaret; Steen, Nick; Francis, Jill; Hrisos, Susan; Elovainio, Marko; Grimshaw, Jeremy M
Type 2 diabetes is an increasingly prevalent chronic illness and is an important cause of avoidable mortality. Patients are managed by the integrated activities of clinical and non-clinical members of the primary care team. Studies of the quality of care for patients with diabetes suggest less than optimum care in a number of areas. The aim of this study is to improve the quality of care for patients with diabetes cared for in primary care in the UK by identifying individual, team, and organisational factors that predict the implementation of best practice. Participants will be clinical and non-clinical staff within 100 general practices sampled from practices who are members of the MRC General Practice Research Framework. Self-completion questionnaires will be developed to measure the attributes of individual health care professionals, primary care teams (including both clinical and non-clinical staff), and their organisation in primary care. Questionnaires will be administered using postal survey methods. A range of validated theories will be used as a framework for the questionnaire instruments. Data relating to a range of dimensions of the organisational structure of primary care will be collected via a telephone interview at each practice using a structured interview schedule. We will also collect data relating to the processes of care, markers of biochemical control, and relevant indicator scores from the quality and outcomes framework (QOF). Process data (as a proxy indicator of clinical behaviours) will be collected from practice databases and via a postal questionnaire survey of a random selection of patients from each practice. Levels of biochemical control will be extracted from practice databases. A series of analyses will be conducted to relate the individual, team, and organisational data to the process, control, and QOF data to identify configurations associated with high quality care. UKCRN ref:DRN120 (ICPD).
de Graaf, Ireen; Onrust, Simone; Haverman, Merel; Janssens, Jan
The present study evaluated two primary care parenting interventions. First, we evaluated the most widely used Dutch practices for primary care parenting support. Second, we assessed the applicability of the Primary Care Triple P approach, which is now being utilized in a wide variety of primary care settings. Both interventions target parents of…
de Graaf, Ireen; Onrust, Simone; Haverman, Merel; Janssens, Jan
The present study evaluated two primary care parenting interventions. First, we evaluated the most widely used Dutch practices for primary care parenting support. Second, we assessed the applicability of the Primary Care Triple P approach, which is now being utilized in a wide variety of primary care settings. Both interventions target parents of…
Kolozsvári, László Róbert; Rurik, Imre
Quality improvement in primary care has been an important issue worldwide for decades. Quality indicators are increasingly used quantitative tools for quality measurement. One of the possible motivational methods for doctors to provide better medical care is the implementation of financial incentives, however, there is no sufficient evidence to support or contradict their effect in quality improvement. Quality indicators and financial incentives are used in the primary care in more and more European countries. The authors provide a brief update on the primary care quality indicator systems of the United Kingdom, Hungary and other European countries, where financial incentives and quality indicators were introduced. There are eight countries where quality indicators linked to financial incentives are used which can influence the finances/salary of family physicians with a bonus of 1-25%. Reliable data are essential for quality indicators, although such data are lacking in primary care of most countries. Further, improvement of indicator systems should be based on broad professional consensus.
Andrus, Len Hughes; Fenley, Mary D.
Describes a Family Nurse Practitioner Program that has effectively improved the distribution of primary health care manpower in rural areas. Program characteristics include selection of personnel from areas of need, decentralization of clinical and didactic training sites, competency-based portable curriculum, and circuit-riding institutionally…
von Gunten, Charles F; Mullan, Patricia B; Nelesen, Richard; Garman, Karen; McNeal, Helen; Savoia, Maria; Muchmore, Elaine; Ikeda, Tyson; Amundson, Stan; McKennett, Marianne; Diamant, Joel; Pepper, Patricia; Gray, Cynthia; Weissman, David
Effective approaches to teaching attitudes, knowledge, and skills to resident physicians in primary care that can be implemented in any residency program are needed. We examined the feasibility and impact of a single palliative care residency curriculum, including a clinical rotation with a hospice program, across 5 cohorts of residents in 7 divergent primary care residency programs (both family medicine and internal medicine). The didactic content was drawn from the national Education for Physicians on End-of-Life Care Project. A total of 448 residents completed the curriculum. A large effect size was seen in measures of knowledge change (*Cohen d = .89) when compared to a national sample of primary care residency programs. Additionally, measures of confidence to perform palliative care skills and ethical concerns also improved significantly ( P < .001). A frequent comment is wishing the rest of medicine were like that experienced in the hospice setting. In a separate, ancillary evaluation, the average length of stay of patients enrolled in hospice care was 18.5 days longer for the alumni of this program when compared to physicians referring for hospice care who hadn't experienced the curriculum.
Humphreys, John; Harvey, Gill; Hegarty, Janet
Background Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a worldwide public health issue. From 2009 to 2014, the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care Greater Manchester (NIHR CLAHRC GM) in England ran 4 phased, 12-month quality improvement (QI) projects with 49 primary care practices in GM. Two measureable aims were set – halve undiagnosed CKD in participating practices using modelled estimates of prevalence; and optimise blood pressure (BP) control (<140/90 mm Hg in CKD patients without proteinuria; <130/80 mm Hg in CKD patients with proteinuria) for 75% of recorded cases of CKD. The 4 projects ran as follows: P1 = Project 1 with 19 practices (September 2009 to September 2010), P2 = Project 2 with 11 practices (March 2011 to March 2012), P3 = Project 3 with 12 practices (September 2012 to October 2013), and P4 = Project 4 with 7 practices (April 2013 to March 2014). Methods Multifaceted intervention approaches were tailored based on a contextual analysis of practice support needs. Data were collected from practices by facilitators at baseline and again at project close, with self-reported data regularly requested from practices throughout the projects. Results Halving undiagnosed CKD as per aim was exceeded in 3 of the 4 projects. The optimising BP aim was met in 2 projects. Total CKD cases after the programme increased by 2,347 (27%) from baseline to 10,968 in a total adult population (aged ≥18 years) of 231,568. The percentage of patients who managed to appropriate BP targets increased from 34 to 74% (P1), from 60 to 83% (P2), from 68 to 71% (P3), and from 63 to 76% (P4). In nonproteinuric CKD patients, 88, 90, 89, and 91%, respectively, achieved a target BP of <140/90 mm Hg. In proteinuric CKD patients, 69, 46, 48, and 45%, respectively, achieved a tighter target of <130/80 mm Hg. Analysis of national data over similar timeframes indicated that practices participating in the programme achieved higher CKD
Boerma, Wienke GW; Murante, Anna M; Sixma, Herman JM; Schellevis, François G; Groenewegen, Peter P
Abstract Objective To investigate patients’ perceptions of improvement potential in primary care in 34 countries. Methods We did a cross-sectional survey of 69 201 patients who had just visited general practitioners at primary-care facilities. Patients rated five features of person-focused primary care – accessibility/availability, continuity, comprehensiveness, patient involvement and doctor–patient communication. One tenth of the patients ranked the importance of each feature on a scale of one to four, and nine tenths of patients scored their experiences of care received. We calculated the potential for improvement by multiplying the proportion of negative patient experiences with the mean importance score in each country. Scores were divided into low, medium and high improvement potential. Pair-wise correlations were made between improvement scores and three dimensions of the structure of primary care – governance, economic conditions and workforce development. Findings In 26 countries, one or more features of primary care had medium or high improvement potentials. Comprehensiveness of care had medium to high improvement potential in 23 of 34 countries. In all countries, doctor–patient communication had low improvement potential. An overall stronger structure of primary care was correlated with a lower potential for improvement of continuity and comprehensiveness of care. In countries with stronger primary care governance patients perceived less potential to improve the continuity of care. Countries with better economic conditions for primary care had less potential for improvement of all features of person-focused care. Conclusion In countries with a stronger primary care structure, patients perceived that primary care had less potential for improvement. PMID:25883409
Rost, K; Nutting, P A; Smith, J; Werner, J J
Complex interventions, which have been shown to improve primary care depression outcomes, are difficult to disseminate to routine practice settings. To address this problem, we developed a brief intervention to train primary care physicians and nurses employed by the practice to improve the detection and management of major depression. Before recruitment began, the research team conducted academic detailing conference calls with primary care physicians and nurses, and provided in-person training with nurses and administrative staff. Administrative staff screened over 11,000 patients before their visits to identify those with probable major depression. Primary care physicians delegated increased responsibility to office nurses, who educated over 90% of patients about effective depression treatment and systematically monitored their progress over time. Early results demonstrate that community primary care practices can rebundle traditional team roles over the short-term to provide more systematic mental health treatment without adding additional personnel. A rigorous evaluation of this effort will reduce time-consuming, expensive, and often unsuccessful efforts to "translate" research intervention findings into everyday practice.
Kennedy, Amanda G; Chen, Harry; Corriveau, Michele; MacLean, Charles D
Pharmacists have unique skills that may benefit primary care practices. The objective of this demonstration project was to determine the impact of integrating pharmacists into patient-centered medical homes, with a focus on population management. Pharmacists were partnered into 5 primary care practices in Vermont 1 day per week to provide direct patient care, population-based medication management, and prescriber education. The main measures included a description of drug therapy problems identified and cost avoidance models. The pharmacists identified 708 drug therapy problems through direct patient care (336/708; 47.5%), population-based strategies (276/708; 38.9%), and education (96/708; 13.6%). Common population-based strategies included adjusting doses and discontinuing unnecessary medications. Pharmacists' recommendations to correct drug therapy problems were accepted by prescribers 86% of the time, when data about acceptance were known. Of the 49 recommendations not accepted, 47/49 (96%) were population-based and 2/49 (4%) were related to direct patient care. The cost avoidance model suggests $2.11 in cost was avoided for every $1.00 spent on a pharmacist ($373,092/$176,690). There was clear value in integrating pharmacists into primary care teams. Their inclusion prevented adverse drug events, avoided costs, and improved patient outcomes. Primary care providers should consider pharmacists well suited to offer direct patient care, population-based management, and prescriber education to their practices. To be successful, pharmacists must have full permission to document findings in the primary care practices' electronic health records. Given that many pharmacist services do not involve billable activities, sustainability requires identifying alternative funding mechanisms that do not rely on a traditional fee-for-service approach.
Duhoux, Arnaud; Menear, Matthew; Charron, Maude; Lavoie-Tremblay, Mélanie; Alderson, Marie
To synthesize the evidence on the effectiveness of interventions aiming to promote or improve the mental health of primary care nurses. Primary care nurses have been found to have high levels of emotional exhaustion and to be at increased risk of suffering from burnout, anxiety and depression. Given the increasingly critical role of nurses in high-performing primary care, there is a need to identify interventions that can effectively reduce these professionals' mental health problems and promote their well-being. We conducted a systematic review on the effectiveness of interventions at the individual, group, work environment or organizational level. Eight articles reporting on seven unique studies met all eligibility criteria. They were non-randomized pre-post intervention studies and reported positive impacts of interventions on at least some outcomes, though caution is warranted in interpreting these results given the moderate-weak methodological quality of studies. This systematic review found moderate-weak evidence that primary, secondary and combined interventions can reduce burnout and stress in nurses practising in community-based health care settings. The results highlight a need for the implementation and evaluation of new strategies tailored for community-based nurses practising in primary care. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Siu, Henry Yu-Hin; Steward, Nicole; Peter, Jessica; Cooke, Laurel; Arnold, Donald M; Price, David
Objective Medically complex patients experience fragmented health care compounded by long wait times. The MedREACH program was developed to improve access and overall system experience for medically complex patients. Program description MedREACH is a novel primary-tertiary care collaborative demonstration program that features community nursing outreach, community specialist outreach, and a multi-specialty consultation clinic. Methods All 179 patients, referring primary care clinicians, and specialists involved were eligible to participate. Patient and clinician feedback were elicited by feedback surveys. Process measures were evaluated by participant retrospective chart reviews. Community nursing outreach patients completed the Goal Attainment Scale. Results Forty-eight patients and 22 clinicians consented to the feedback survey. About 75% of patients were seen within 2 weeks of referral. Patients spent an average of 3, 1.63, and 1.2 visits with the nursing outreach, multi-specialty clinic, and specialist outreach, respectively. Patients indicated a better medical experience, health enablement, and goals attainment. Family physicians felt more supported in the community management of medically complex patients and, overall, physicians felt MedREACH could improve collaborative care for medically complex patients. Qualitative analysis of clinician responses identified the need for increased mental health services. Discussion MedREACH demonstrates a patient-centered link between primary and tertiary care that could improve health care access and overall experience.
Sorondo, Barbara; Allen, Amy; Fathima, Samreen; Bayleran, Janet; Sabbagh, Iyad
This study assessed whether patient portals influence patients' ability for self-management, improve their perception of health state, improve their experience with primary care practices, and reduce healthcare utilization. Patients participating in a nurse-led care coordination program received personalized training to use the portal to communicate with the care team. Data analysis included pre-post comparison of self-efficacy (CDSES), health state (EQVAS), functional status (PROMIS(®)), experience with the provider/practice (CG-CAHPS), and healthcare utilization (admissions and ED visits). A total of 94 patients were enrolled, and 92 (Intent to Treat) were followed up for 7 months to assess their experience, and for 12 months to assess healthcare utilization. Seventy four (mean age 60+13 years) used the portal (Users). Comparison between baseline and 7-month follow-up showed no statistically significant improvements in self-efficacy, perception of health state or experience with the primary care practice. Only functional status improved significantly. ED visits/1000 patients were reduced by 26% and 21% in the Intent to Treat and Users groups, respectively. Hospital admissions/1000 patients were reduced by 46% in the Intent to Treat group and by 38% in the Users group. For patients in care coordination, having access to patient portals may improve access to providers and health data that lead to improvements in patients' functional status and reduce high-cost healthcare utilization, but it does not seem to improve self-efficacy, perception of health state, or experience with primary care practices. In this study, the use of patient portals improved functional status and reduced high-cost healthcare utilization in patients with chronic conditions.
Sorondo, Barbara; Allen, Amy; Fathima, Samreen; Bayleran, Janet; Sabbagh, Iyad
Introduction: This study assessed whether patient portals influence patients’ ability for self-management, improve their perception of health state, improve their experience with primary care practices, and reduce healthcare utilization. Methods: Patients participating in a nurse-led care coordination program received personalized training to use the portal to communicate with the care team. Data analysis included pre-post comparison of self-efficacy (CDSES), health state (EQVAS), functional status (PROMIS®), experience with the provider/practice (CG-CAHPS), and healthcare utilization (admissions and ED visits). Results: A total of 94 patients were enrolled, and 92 (Intent to Treat) were followed up for 7 months to assess their experience, and for 12 months to assess healthcare utilization. Seventy four (mean age 60+13 years) used the portal (Users). Comparison between baseline and 7-month follow-up showed no statistically significant improvements in self-efficacy, perception of health state or experience with the primary care practice. Only functional status improved significantly. ED visits/1000 patients were reduced by 26% and 21% in the Intent to Treat and Users groups, respectively. Hospital admissions/1000 patients were reduced by 46% in the Intent to Treat group and by 38% in the Users group. Discussion: For patients in care coordination, having access to patient portals may improve access to providers and health data that lead to improvements in patients’ functional status and reduce high-cost healthcare utilization, but it does not seem to improve self-efficacy, perception of health state, or experience with primary care practices. Conclusion: In this study, the use of patient portals improved functional status and reduced high-cost healthcare utilization in patients with chronic conditions. PMID:28203611
Pérez-Ciordia, I; Guillén-Grima, F; Brugos Larumbe, A; Aguinaga Ontoso, I
Job satisfaction of health professionals is considered to be a quality indicator, as it is related to the efficacy of the services. The aim of the study is to validate a questionnaire for evaluating job satisfaction improvement in a population of health professionals in primary care in Navarre. Descriptive study with self-completed questionnaires; the target population was all health care professionals (family doctors, pediatricians and nurses) of primary health centers of Navarre. A Lickert scale was used for measuring the items. Other variables measured were: sex, years in the profession, job satisfaction, professional status, health center, and 47 items on improving job satisfaction. Cronbach's alpha coefficient was used to evaluate reliability, and to evaluate construct validity factor analysis with varimax rotation, grouping the items in 9 dimensions was used. A total of 414 questionnaires were collected. Cronbach's alpha coefficient was 0.933. Forty-one point two eight seven percent (41.287%) of total variance was explained by five dimensions. The dimension "relations with patients" presented the highest average (4.087) of improvement in job satisfaction, and the item "If it were possible to eliminate unjustified demand" showed an average of 4.21. The questionnaire designed is a valid instrument for a comprehensive evaluation of the improvement in the job satisfaction of primary care professionals. The results obtained can indicate which areas of improvement should be implemented in order to improve the satisfaction of the professionals.
Hodgkinson, Stacy; Godoy, Leandra; Beers, Lee Savio; Lewin, Amy
Poverty is a common experience for many children and families in the United States. Children <18 years old are disproportionately affected by poverty, making up 33% of all people in poverty. Living in a poor or low-income household has been linked to poor health and increased risk for mental health problems in both children and adults that can persist across the life span. Despite their high need for mental health services, children and families living in poverty are least likely to be connected with high-quality mental health care. Pediatric primary care providers are in a unique position to take a leading role in addressing disparities in access to mental health care, because many low-income families come to them first to address mental health concerns. In this report, we discuss the impact of poverty on mental health, barriers to care, and integrated behavioral health care models that show promise in improving access and outcomes for children and families residing in the contexts of poverty. We also offer practice recommendations, relevant to providers in the primary care setting, that can help improve access to mental health care in this population.
Pruthu, T K; Majella, Marie Gilbert; Nair, Divya; Ramaswamy, Gomathi; Palanivel, C; Subitha, L; Kumar, S Ganesh; Kar, Sitanshu Sekhar
Diabetes mellitus is one of the emerging epidemics. Regular clinical and biochemical monitoring of patients, adherence to treatment and counseling are cornerstones for prevention of complications. Clinical audits as a process of improving quality of patient care and outcomes by reviewing care against specific criteria and then reviewing the change can help in optimizing care. We aimed to audit the process of diabetes care using patient records and also to assess the effect of audit on process of care indicators among patients availing diabetes care from a rural health and training center in Puducherry, South India. A record based study was conducted to audit diabetes care among patients attending noncommunicable disease clinic in a rural health center of South India. Monitoring of blood pressure (BP), blood glucose, lipid profile and renal function test were considered for auditing in accordance with standard guidelines. Clinical audit cycle (CAC), a simple management tool was applied and re-audit was done after 1-year. We reviewed 156 and 180 patients records during year-1 and year-2, respectively. In the audit year-1, out of 156 patients, 78 (50%), 70 (44.9%), 49 (31.4%) and 19 (12.2%) had got their BP, blood glucose, lipid profile and renal function tests done. Monitoring of blood glucose, BP, lipid profile and renal function improved significantly by 35%, 20.7%, 36.4% and 56.1% over 1-year. CAC improves process of diabetes care in a primary care setting with existing resources.
Rubenstein, Lisa V; Parker, Louise E; Meredith, Lisa S; Altschuler, Andrea; DePillis, Emmeline; Hernandez, John; Gordon, Nancy P
Objective To assess the impacts of the characteristics of quality improvement (QI) teams and their environments on team success in designing and implementing highquality, enduring depression care improvement programs in primary care (PC) practices. Study Setting/Data Sources Two nonprofit managed care organizations sponsored five QI teams tasked with improving care for depression in large PC practices. Data on characteristics of the teams and their environments is from observer process notes, national expert ratings, administrative data, and interviews. Study Design Comparative formative evaluation of the quality and duration of implementation of the depression improvement programs developed by Central Teams (CTs) emphasizing expert design and Local Teams (LTs) emphasizing participatory local clinician design, and of the effects of additional team and environmental factors oneach type of team. Both types of teams depended upon local clinicians for implementation. Principal Findings The CT intervention program designs were more evidence-based than those of LTs. Expert team leadership, support from local practice management, and support from local mental health specialists strongly influenced the development of successful team programs. The CTs and LTs were equally successful when these conditions could be met, but CTs were more successful than LTs in less supportive environments. Conclusions The LT approach to QI for depression requires high local support and expertise from primary care and mental health clinicians. The CT approach is more likely to succeed than the LT approach when local practice conditions are not optimal. PMID:12236381
Leong, Kwok Chi; Chen, Wei Seng; Leong, Kok Weng; Mastura, Ismail; Mimi, Omar; Sheikh, Mohd Amin; Zailinawati, Abu Hassan; Ng, Chirk Jenn; Phua, Kai Lit; Teng, Cheong Lieng
Non-attendance is common in primary care and previous studies have reported that reminders were useful in reducing broken appointments. To determine the effectiveness of a text messaging reminder in improving attendance in primary care. Multicentre three-arm randomized controlled trial. Seven primary care clinics in Malaysia. Participants. Patients (or their caregivers) who required follow-up at the clinics between 48 hours and 3 months from the recruitment date. Interventions. Two intervention arms consisted of text messaging and mobile phone reminders 24-48 hours prior to scheduled appointments. Control group did not receive any intervention. Outcome measures. Attendance rates and costs of interventions. A total of 993 participants were eligible for analysis. Attendance rates of control, text messaging and mobile phone reminder groups were 48.1, 59.0 and 59.6%, respectively. The attendance rate of the text messaging reminder group was significantly higher compared with that of the control group (odds ratio 1.59, 95% confidence interval 1.17 to 2.17, P = 0.005). There was no statistically significant difference in attendance rates between text messaging and mobile phone reminder groups. The cost of text messaging reminder (RM 0.45 per attendance) was lower than mobile phone reminder (RM 0.82 per attendance). Text messaging reminder system was effective in improving attendance rate in primary care. It was more cost-effective compared with the mobile phone reminder.
Gardner, Lytt I; Marks, Gary; Craw, Jason A; Wilson, Tracey E; Drainoni, Mari-Lynn; Moore, Richard D; Mugavero, Michael J; Rodriguez, Allan E; Bradley-Springer, Lucy A; Holman, Susan; Keruly, Jeanne C; Sullivan, Meg; Skolnik, Paul R; Malitz, Faye; Metsch, Lisa R; Raper, James L; Giordano, Thomas P
Retention in care for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients is a National HIV/AIDS Strategy priority. We hypothesized that retention could be improved with coordinated messages to encourage patients' clinic attendance. We report here the results of the first phase of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Health Resources and Services Administration Retention in Care project. Six HIV-specialty clinics participated in a cross-sectionally sampled pretest-posttest evaluation of brochures, posters, and messages that conveyed the importance of regular clinic attendance. 10,018 patients in 2008-2009 (preintervention period) and 11,039 patients in 2009-2010 (intervention period) were followed up for clinic attendance. Outcome variables were the percentage of patients who kept 2 consecutive primary care visits and the mean proportion of all primary care visits kept. Stratification variables were: new, reengaging, and active patients, HIV RNA viral load, CD4 cell count, age, sex, race or ethnicity, risk group, number of scheduled visits, and clinic site. Data were analyzed by multivariable log-binomial and linear models using generalized estimation equation methods. Clinic attendance for primary care was significantly higher in the intervention versus preintervention year. Overall relative improvement was 7.0% for keeping 2 consecutive visits and 3.0% for the mean proportion of all visits kept (P < .0001). Larger relative improvement for both outcomes was observed for new or reengaging patients, young patients and patients with elevated viral loads. Improved attendance among the new or reengaging patients was consistent across the 6 clinics, and less consistent across clinics for active patients. Targeted messages on staying in care, which were delivered at minimal effort and cost, improved clinic attendance, especially for new or reengaging patients, young patients, and those with elevated viral loads.
Gardner, Lytt I.; Marks, Gary; Craw, Jason A.; Wilson, Tracey E.; Drainoni, Mari-Lynn; Moore, Richard D.; Mugavero, Michael J.; Rodriguez, Allan E.; Bradley-Springer, Lucy A.; Holman, Susan; Keruly, Jeanne C.; Sullivan, Meg; Skolnik, Paul R.; Malitz, Faye; Metsch, Lisa R.; Raper, James L.; Giordano, Thomas P.
Background. Retention in care for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected patients is a National HIV/AIDS Strategy priority. We hypothesized that retention could be improved with coordinated messages to encourage patients' clinic attendance. We report here the results of the first phase of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Health Resources and Services Administration Retention in Care project. Methods. Six HIV-specialty clinics participated in a cross-sectionally sampled pretest-posttest evaluation of brochures, posters, and messages that conveyed the importance of regular clinic attendance. 10 018 patients in 2008–2009 (preintervention period) and 11 039 patients in 2009–2010 (intervention period) were followed up for clinic attendance. Outcome variables were the percentage of patients who kept 2 consecutive primary care visits and the mean proportion of all primary care visits kept. Stratification variables were: new, reengaging, and active patients, HIV RNA viral load, CD4 cell count, age, sex, race or ethnicity, risk group, number of scheduled visits, and clinic site. Data were analyzed by multivariable log-binomial and linear models using generalized estimation equation methods. Results. Clinic attendance for primary care was significantly higher in the intervention versus preintervention year. Overall relative improvement was 7.0% for keeping 2 consecutive visits and 3.0% for the mean proportion of all visits kept (P < .0001). Larger relative improvement for both outcomes was observed for new or reengaging patients, young patients and patients with elevated viral loads. Improved attendance among the new or reengaging patients was consistent across the 6 clinics, and less consistent across clinics for active patients. Conclusion. Targeted messages on staying in care, which were delivered at minimal effort and cost, improved clinic attendance, especially for new or reengaging patients, young patients, and those with elevated
Cott, Cheryl; Jones, C Allyson; Badley, Elizabeth M; Davis, Aileen M
Background Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions are the most common cause of severe chronic pain and disability worldwide. Despite the impact of these conditions, disparity exists in accessing high quality basic care. As a result, effective treatments do not always reach people who need services. The situation is further hampered by the current models of care that target resources to a limited area of health services (eg, joint replacement surgery), rather than the entire continuum of MSK health, which includes services provided by primary care physicians and health professionals. The use of digital media offers promising solutions to improve access to services. However, our knowledge in this field is limited. To advance the use of digital media in improving MSK care, we held a research planning meeting entitled “PEOPLE: Partnership to Enable Optimal Primary Health Care by Leveraging Digital Media in Musculoskeletal Health”. This paper reports the discussion during the meeting. Objective The objective of this study was to: (1) identify research priorities relevant to using digital media in primary health care for enhancing MSK health, and (2) develop research collaboration among researchers, clinicians, and patient/consumer communities. Methods The PEOPLE meeting included 26 participants from health research, computer science/digital media, clinical communities, and patient/consumer groups. Based on consultations with each participant prior to the meeting, we chose to focus on 3 topics: (1) gaps and issues in primary health care for MSK health, (2) current application of digital media in health care, and (3) challenges to using digital media to improve MSK health in underserviced populations. Results The 2-day discussion led to emergence of 1 overarching question and 4 research priorities. A main research priority was to understand the characteristics of those who are not able to access preventive measures and treatment for early MSK diseases. Participants
Li, Linda C; Cott, Cheryl; Jones, C Allyson; Badley, Elizabeth M; Davis, Aileen M
Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions are the most common cause of severe chronic pain and disability worldwide. Despite the impact of these conditions, disparity exists in accessing high quality basic care. As a result, effective treatments do not always reach people who need services. The situation is further hampered by the current models of care that target resources to a limited area of health services (eg, joint replacement surgery), rather than the entire continuum of MSK health, which includes services provided by primary care physicians and health professionals. The use of digital media offers promising solutions to improve access to services. However, our knowledge in this field is limited. To advance the use of digital media in improving MSK care, we held a research planning meeting entitled "PEOPLE: Partnership to Enable Optimal Primary Health Care by Leveraging Digital Media in Musculoskeletal Health". This paper reports the discussion during the meeting. The objective of this study was to: (1) identify research priorities relevant to using digital media in primary health care for enhancing MSK health, and (2) develop research collaboration among researchers, clinicians, and patient/consumer communities. The PEOPLE meeting included 26 participants from health research, computer science/digital media, clinical communities, and patient/consumer groups. Based on consultations with each participant prior to the meeting, we chose to focus on 3 topics: (1) gaps and issues in primary health care for MSK health, (2) current application of digital media in health care, and (3) challenges to using digital media to improve MSK health in underserviced populations. The 2-day discussion led to emergence of 1 overarching question and 4 research priorities. A main research priority was to understand the characteristics of those who are not able to access preventive measures and treatment for early MSK diseases. Participants indicated that this information is necessary for
Gaal, Sander; Verstappen, Wim; Wensing, Michel
Although it has been increasingly recognised that patient safety in primary care is important, little is known about the feasibility and effectiveness of different strategies to improve patient safety in primary care. In this study, we aimed to identify the most important strategies by consulting an international panel of primary care physicians and researchers. A web-based survey was undertaken in an international panel of 58 individuals from eight countries with a strong primary care system. The questionnaire consisted of 38 strategies to improve patient safety. We asked the respondents whether these strategies were currently used in their own country, and whether they felt them to be important. Most of the 38 presented strategies were seen as important by a majority of the participants, but the use of strategies in daily practice varied widely. Strategies that yielded the highest scores (>70%) regarding importance included a good medical record system (82% felt this was very important, while 83% said it was implemented in more than half of the practices), good telephone access (71% importance, 83% implementation), standards for record keeping (75% importance, 62% implementation), learning culture (74% importance, 10% implementation), vocational training on patient safety for GPs (81% importance, 24% implementation) and the presence of a patient safety guideline (81% importance, 15% implementation). An international panel of primary care physicians and researchers felt that many different strategies to improve patient safety were important. Highly important strategies with poor implementation included a culture that is positive for patient safety, education on patient safety for physicians, and the presence of a patient safety guideline.
Fiks, Alexander G; Mayne, Stephanie L; Michel, Jeremy J; Miller, Jeffrey; Abraham, Manju; Suh, Andrew; Jawad, Abbas F; Guevara, James P; Grundmeier, Robert W; Blum, Nathan J; Power, Thomas J
To evaluate a distance-learning, quality improvement intervention to improve pediatric primary care provider use of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) rating scales. Primary care practices were cluster randomized to a 3-part distance-learning, quality improvement intervention (web-based education, collaborative consultation with ADHD experts, and performance feedback reports/calls), qualifying for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part IV credit, or wait-list control. We compared changes relative to a baseline period in rating scale use by study arm using logistic regression clustered by practice (primary analysis) and examined effect modification by level of clinician participation. An electronic health record-linked system for gathering ADHD rating scales from parents and teachers was implemented before the intervention period at all sites. Rating scale use was ascertained by manual chart review. One hundred five clinicians at 19 sites participated. Differences between arms were not significant. From the baseline to intervention period and after implementation of the electronic system, clinicians in both study arms were significantly more likely to administer and receive parent and teacher rating scales. Among intervention clinicians, those who participated in at least 1 feedback call or qualified for MOC credit were more likely to give parents rating scales with differences of 14.2 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.6-27.7) and 18.8 (95% CI, 1.9-35.7) percentage points, respectively. A 3-part clinician-focused distance-learning, quality improvement intervention did not improve rating scale use. Complementary strategies that support workflows and more fully engage clinicians may be needed to bolster care. Electronic systems that gather rating scales may help achieve this goal. Index terms: ADHD, primary care, quality improvement, clinical decision support.
Glasser, Irene; Wang, Fei; Reardon, Jane; Vergara, Cunegundo D; Salvietti, Ralph; Acevedo, Myrtha; Santana, Blanca; Fortunato, Gil
We conducted a focus group study in an urban hospital-based primary care teaching clinic serving an indigent and Hispanic (predominantly Puerto Rican) population in New England in order to learn how patients with Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD) perceive their disease, how they experience their medical care, and the barriers they face managing their disease and following medical recommendations. The research team included medical doctors, nurses, a medical anthropologist, a clinical pharmacist, a hospital interpreter, and a systems analyst. Four focus groups were conducted in Spanish and English in April and May 2014. The demographic characteristics of the 25 focus group participants closely reflected the demographics of the total COPD clinic patients. The participants were predominantly female (72%) and Hispanic (72%) and had a median age of 63. The major themes expressed in the focus groups included: problems living with COPD; coping with complexities of comorbid illnesses; challenges of quitting smoking and maintaining cessation; dealing with second-hand smoke; beliefs and myths about quitting smoking; difficulty paying for and obtaining medications; positive experiences obtaining and managing medications; difficulties in using sleep machines at home; expressions of disappointment with the departure of their doctors; and overall satisfaction with the clinic health care providers. The study led to the creation of an action plan that addresses the concerns expressed by the focus study participants. The action plan is spearheaded by a designated bilingual and bicultural nurse and is now in operation.
Hegel, Mark T; Oxman, Thomas E; Hull, Jay G; Swain, Karin; Swick, Holly
The objectives of this study were to determine remission rates and predictors of improvement for minor depression following a 1-month watchful waiting period in primary care and to describe the watchful waiting processes. Prior to randomization into a clinical trial for minor depression, 111 participants were entered into a 1-month watchful waiting period. Depression severity and predictors of improvement were measured at the start of watchful waiting. At the end of watchful waiting, remission rates were calculated and predictor variables were analyzed for their contribution toward predicting improvement. Remission rates were low, ranging from 9% to 13%, depending on the measure. Avoidant coping style and frequency of engaging in active pleasant events at baseline accounted for the majority of change in depression. During watchful waiting, about one fifth of the sample (21%) had at least one contact with their physician and 27% reported using self-initiated treatments. There is a low likelihood of spontaneous remission for treatment-seeking samples with minor depression in primary care. An avoidant coping style seriously interferes with remission, and engaging in regular active pleasant events confers an advantage. Feasible interventions for primary care that promote activity and decrease avoidant coping styles may improve outcomes. These findings may not generalize to community and non-treatment-seeking samples.
McDonnell, Juliet; Correia de Sousa, Jaime; Baxter, Noel; Pinnock, Hilary; Román-Rodríguez, Miguel; van der Molen, Thys; Williams, Sian
Significant attention has been given to the global burden of noncommunicable diseases including respiratory diseases and the potential of primary care to address this challenge. The International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG) has a potentially significant role to build capacity through research and education in a complex global network with varying degrees of capability. In this paper we outline a comprehensive strategy, which revisits the IPCRG’s educational role, our aims, audiences and approach in this context. The paper was developed through a collaborative process involving experts in global health, primary care and respiratory education, leading to a consensus educational strategy statement. This is further informed by a review of recent trends in continuing medical education. Professional education and training of health-care workers is a core component of the global response to the challenge of managing respiratory conditions in primary care. This paper offers a revised strategy for building capacity and improving clinical practice in IPCRG member countries by revisiting and broadening our aims, exploring the key audiences, focus and approaches. PMID:25253230
Johnson, Julie K; Woods, Donna M; Stevens, David P; Bowen, Judith L; Provost, Lloyd P; Sixta, Connie S; Wagner, Ed H
Two chronic care collaboratives (The National Collaborative and the California Collaborative) were convened to facilitate implementing the chronic care model (CCM) in academic medical centers and into post-graduate medical education. We developed and implemented an electronic team survey (ETS) to elicit, in real-time, team member's experiences in caring for people with chronic illness and the effect of the Collaborative on teams and teamwork. The ETS is a qualitative survey based on Electronic Event Sampling Methodology. It is designed to collect meaningful information about daily experience and any event that might influence team members' daily work and subsequent outcomes. Forty-one residency programs from 37 teaching hospitals participated in the collaboratives and comprised faculty and resident physicians, nurses, and administrative staff. Each team member participating in the collaboratives received an e-mail with directions to complete the ETS for four weeks during 2006 (the National Collaborative) and 2007 (the California Collaborative). At the team level, the response rate to the ETS was 87% with team members submitting 1,145 narrative entries. Six key themes emerged from the analysis, which were consistent across all sites. Among teams that achieved better clinical outcomes on Collaborative clinical indicators, an additional key theme emerged: professional work satisfaction, or "Joy in Work". In contrast, among teams that performed lower in collaborative measures, two key themes emerged that reflected the effect of providing care in difficult institutional environments-"lack of professional satisfaction" and awareness of "system failures". The ETS provided a unique perspective into team performance and the day-to-day challenges and opportunities in chronic illness care. Further research is needed to explore systematic approaches to integrating the results from this study into the design of improvement efforts for clinical teams.
Khanassov, Vladimir; Pluye, Pierre; Descoteaux, Sarah; Haggerty, Jeannie L; Russell, Grant; Gunn, Jane; Levesque, Jean-Frederic
Access to community-based primary health care (hereafter, 'primary care') is a priority in many countries. Health care systems have emphasized policies that help the community 'get the right service in the right place at the right time'. However, little is known about organizational interventions in primary care that are aimed to improve access for populations in situations of vulnerability (e.g., socioeconomically disadvantaged) and how successful they are. The purpose of this scoping review was to map the existing evidence on organizational interventions that improve access to primary care services for vulnerable populations. Scoping review followed an iterative process. Eligibility criteria: organizational interventions in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries; aiming to improve access to primary care for vulnerable populations; all study designs; published from 2000 in English or French; reporting at least one outcome (avoidable hospitalization, emergency department admission, or unmet health care needs).
Dickinson, W. Perry; Dickinson, L. Miriam; Nutting, Paul A.; Emsermann, Caroline B.; Tutt, Brandon; Crabtree, Benjamin F.; Fisher, Lawrence; Harbrecht, Marjie; Gottsman, Allyson; West, David R.
PURPOSE We investigated 3 approaches for implementing the Chronic Care Model to improve diabetes care: (1) practice facilitation over 6 months using a reflective adaptive process (RAP) approach; (2) practice facilitation for up to 18 months using a continuous quality improvement (CQI) approach; and (3) providing self-directed (SD) practices with model information and resources, without facilitation. METHODS We conducted a cluster-randomized trial, called Enhancing Practice, Improving Care (EPIC), that compared these approaches among 40 small to midsized primary care practices. At baseline and 9 months and 18 months after enrollment, we assessed practice diabetes quality measures from chart audits and Practice Culture Assessment scores from clinician and staff surveys. RESULTS Although measures of the quality of diabetes care improved in all 3 groups (all P <.05), improvement was greater in CQI practices compared with both SD practices (P <.0001) and RAP practices (P <.0001); additionally, improvement was greater in SD practices compared with RAP practices (P <.05). In RAP practices, Change Culture scores showed a trend toward improvement at 9 months (P = .07) but decreased below baseline at 18 months (P <.05), while Work Culture scores decreased from 9 to 18 months (P <.05). Both scores were stable over time in SD and CQI practices. CONCLUSIONS Traditional CQI interventions are effective at improving measures of the quality of diabetes care, but may not improve practice change and work culture. Short-term practice facilitation based on RAP principles produced less improvement in quality measures than CQI or SD interventions and also did not produce sustained improvements in practice culture. PMID:24445098
Thompson, J N; Brodkin, C A; Kyes, K; Neighbor, W; Evanoff, B
New patient charts were reviewed before and after the introduction of a self-administered questionnaire, designed to elicit occupational and environmental (OE) information from patients. The Occupational Health Risk Assessment questionnaire (OHRA) was expected to prompt primary care physicians to make further inquiries into OE health issues. Chart reviews determined the amount and type of information detailed in the primary care physicians' notes. Twenty-three percent of completed OHRAs indicated a job-related health problem. Despite a high prevalence of self-reported work-related symptoms and exposures, the mean number of notations regarding OE exposures was less than one item per patient chart. A comparison of mean OE notations per chart before versus after introduction of the OHRA indicated a decline in notations after introduction of the OHRA (1.03 vs 0.72, P = 0.02). We detail the type of OE issues that patients presented to a primary care practice and the resulting information contained in primary care providers' notes. Suggestions are made to improve a self-administered patient questionnaire to better diagnose, prioritize, and formulate treatment plans related to OE issues.
Haggerty, Jeannie L; Pineault, Raynald; Beaulieu, Marie-Dominique; Brunelle, Yvon; Gauthier, Josée; Goulet, François; Rodrigue, Jean
To investigate variations in accessibility, continuity of care, and coordination of services as experienced by patients in Quebec on the eve of major reforms, and to provide baseline information against which reforms could be measured. Multilevel cross-sectional survey of practice. One hundred primary health care settings were randomly selected in urban, suburban, rural, and remote locations in 5 health regions in Quebec. In each clinic, we chose up to 4 physicians and 20 consecutive patients consulting each physician. Patients' responses to a self-administered questionnaire, the Primary Care Assessment Tool, that assessed patient-provider affiliation, accessibility, relational continuity, coordination of primary and specialty care, and whether patients received health promotion and preventive services. A total of 3441 patients participated (87% acceptance rate) in 100 clinics (64% response rate). Timely access was difficult; only 10% expressed confidence they could be seen by their regular doctors within a day if they became suddenly ill. Average waiting time for a doctor's appointment was 24 days. Coordination of care with specialists was at minimally acceptable levels. Patients with family physicians recalled them addressing only 56% of the health promotion and preventive issues appropriate for their age and sex, and patients without family physicians recalled physicians addressing substantially fewer (38%). Most patients reported they were highly confident that their physicians knew them well and would manage their care beyond clinical encounters (relational continuity). The exception was the 16% of patients overall who did not have family physicians (34% of patients at walk-in clinics). This survey highlights serious problems with accessibility. Improvement is needed urgently to avoid deterioration of patients' confidence in the health system even though patients rate their relationships with their physician highly. Health promotion, preventive services, and
Wu, Charlotte A; Mulder, Amara L; Zai, Adrian H; Hu, Yuanshan; Costa, Manuela; Tishler, Lori Wiviott; Saltzman, John R; Ellner, Andrew L; Bitton, Asaf
Provision of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in primary care is suboptimal; failure to observe screening guidelines poses unnecessary risks to patients and doctors. Implement a population management system for CRC screening; evaluate impact on compliance with evidence-based guidelines. A quasi-experimental, prospective quality improvement study design using pre-post-analyses with concurrent controls. Six suites within an academic primary care practice. 5320 adults eligible for CRC screening treated by 70 doctors. In three intervention suites, doctors reviewed real-time rosters of patients due for CRC screening and chose practice delegate outreach or default reminder letter. Delegates tracked overdue patients, made outreach calls, facilitated test ordering, obtained records and documented patient deferral, exclusion or decline. In three control suites, doctors followed usual preventive care practices. CRC screening compliance (including documented decline, deferral or exclusion) and CRC screening completion rates over 5 months. At baseline, there was no significant difference in CRC screening compliance (I: 80.4% and C: 79.6%, P = 0.439) and CRC screening completion rates (I: 78.3% and C: 77.3%, P = 0.398) between intervention and control groups. Post-intervention, compliance rates (I: 88.1% and C: 80.5%, P < 0.01) and completion rates (I: 81.0% and C: 78.1%, P < 0.05) were significantly higher in the intervention group. A population management system using closed-loop communication may improve CRC screening compliance and completion rates within academic primary care practices. Team-based care using well-designed IT systems can enable sharing of patient care responsibilities and improve patient outcomes. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Clark, Karen; Weir, Christine
As the disparities in rural healthcare have become better understood, the need to adjust and compensate for these unique challenges becomes a priority. This manuscript suggests three constructs that can be readily integrated into rural care providers' daily work to improve treatment outcomes. Autonomy support, relational support, and competence support are among the motivational constructs discussed with a special consideration for the unique cultural and environmental influences of rural West Virginia residents. The overall objective of this review is to renew the basic tenants of shared decision making as they related to successful behavioral change in primary care.
Norful, Allison Andreno; Swords, Kyleen; Marichal, Mickaela; Cho, Hwayoung; Poghosyan, Lusine
The U.S. primary care system is under tremendous strain to deliver care to an increased volume of patients with a concurrent primary care physician shortage. Nurse practitioner (NP)-physician comanagement of primary care patients has been proposed by some policy makers to help alleviate this strain. To date, no collective evidence demonstrates the effects of NP-physician comanagement in primary care. This is the first review to synthesize all available studies that compare the effects of NP-physician comanagement to an individual physician managing primary care. The PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses) framework guided the conduct of this systematic review. Five electronic databases were searched. Titles, abstracts, and full texts were reviewed, and inclusion/exclusion criteria were applied to narrow search results to eligible studies. Quality appraisal was performed using Downs and Black's quality checklist for randomized and nonrandomized studies. Six studies were identified for synthesis. Three outcome categories emerged: (a) primary care provider adherence to recommended care guidelines, (b) empirical changes in clinical patient outcomes, and (c) patient/caregiver quality of life. Significantly more recommended care guidelines were completed with NP-physician comanagement. There was variability of clinical patient outcomes with some findings favoring the comanagement model. Limited differences in patient quality of life were found. Across all studies, the NP-physician comanagementcare delivery model was determined to produce no detrimental effect on measured outcomes and, in some cases, was more beneficial in reaching practice and clinical targets. The use of NP-physician comanagement of primary care patients is a promising delivery care model to improve the quality of care delivery and alleviate organizational strain given the current demands of increased patient panel sizes and primary care physician shortages. Future
Pérez-Vico-Díaz de Rada, Lucía; González-Suárez, Miriam; Duarte-Clíments, Gonzalo; Brito-Brito, Pedro Ruymán
A case is presented of a 52 year-old male seen in a Primary Care nursing clinic for a type 2 diabetes mellitus metabolic control. The frequency of the visits increased due to perceived difficulties caused by changing the medical treatment. A focused interview was conducted under functional health patterns framework. The patient was unable to write or read, had not worked for the last 25 years, and expressed a lack of control over his self-care. An action plan was prepared, prioritizing Ineffective Health Maintenance, Powerlessness, and Impaired Social Interaction NANDA-I nursing diagnoses. The goals were set at improving knowledge and control over his disease and participating in leisure activities. To achieve these, the social health resources in the area were contacted, and agreed that the patient could attend activities that could improve his self-care and his quality of life. An improvement in his diabetes control was observed in the following evaluations, with an increase in his level of knowledge and self-care. The Primary Health care nurse should consider available community resources by using a comprehensive approach to chronic diseases for their therapeutic benefit and management, especially in those patients with adverse sociocultural conditions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier España, S.L. All rights reserved.
Confronted with the complexities inherent in delivering palliative care, effective collaboration with referring staff becomes vital. Based on the evaluation of the physical and psychosocial concerns of patients, the goal of palliative care is to craft interventions that maintain quality of life in the face of increasing symptoms and deteriorating functional status. The project's goal was to increase the appropriateness of referrals to palliative care by the primary services in the hospital. The aim was to achieve this by developing a process to assess patient functioning in critical psychosocial and functional areas, and providing this data to referring medical staff to educate them on the contribution of palliative care to symptom control and patient quality of life. The findings show that referrals to palliative care have increased over 100% from a broader range of services since initiating this project. Assessment data has been collected on 165 patients and outcomes are discussed.
Scales, Robert; Miller, Joseph H
Motivating patients to adopt a healthful treatment plan during brief office visits is a major challenge facing health care providers. Therefore, effective communication strategies that can be successfully employed during time-pressured consultations are worthy of consideration. Traditional approaches to patient care often rely on advice-giving and direct persuasion. Motivational interviewing is an alternate style of communication that has demonstrated success with very resistant clients, such as those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. More recent adaptations of this approach to medical settings have been effective in improving a wide range of problem behaviors, including physical inactivity. This motivational approach is well suited to the daily practice of a busy primary care clinic, where improved patient compliance is a priority. Skillful application by a clinician provides the platform for patients to talk about change instead of exhibiting resistance. Consequently, clinical consultations are not only more effective, but also less frustrating for the provider.
Kano, Miria; Silva-Bañuelos, Alma Rosa; Sturm, Robert; Willging, Cathleen E
Individuals among gender/sexual minorities share experiences of stigma and discrimination, yet have distinctive health care needs influenced by ethnic/racial minority and rural realities. We collected qualitative data from lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT) and queer persons across the largely rural, multicultural state of New Mexico, particularly those from understudied ethnic groups, regarding factors facilitating or impeding patient-centered primary care. The themes identified formed the basis for a statewide summit on LGBT health care guidelines and strategies for decreasing treatment gaps. Three to 15 individuals, ages 18 to 75 years, volunteered for 1 of 4 town hall dialogues (n = 32), and 175 people took part in the summit. Participants acknowledged health care gaps pertinent to LGBT youth, elders, American Indians, and Latinos/Latinas, expressing specific concern for rural residents. This preliminary research emphasizes the need to improve primary care practices that treat rural and ethnic-minority LGBT people and offers patient-driven recommendations to enhance care delivery while clinic-level transformations are implemented. © Copyright 2016 by the American Board of Family Medicine.
Chang, Evelyn T; Wells, Kenneth B; Young, Alexander S; Stockdale, Susan; Johnson, Megan D; Fickel, Jacqueline J; Jou, Kevin; Rubenstein, Lisa V
The high prevalence of comorbid physical and mental illnesses among veterans is well known. Therefore, ensuring effective communication between primary care (PC) and mental health (MH) clinicians in the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system is essential. The VA's Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT) initiative has further raised awareness of the need for communication between PC and MH. Improving such communication, however, has proven challenging. To qualitatively understand barriers to PC-MH communication in an academic community-based clinic by using continuous quality improvement (CQI) tools and then initiate a change strategy. An interdisciplinary quality improvement (QI) work group composed of 11 on-site PC and MH providers, administrators, and researchers identified communication barriers and facilitators using fishbone diagrams and process flow maps. The work group then verified and provided context for the diagram and flow maps through medical record review (32 patients who received both PC and MH care), interviews (6 stakeholders), and reports from four previously completed focus groups. Based on these findings and a previous systematic review of interventions to improve interspecialty communication, the team initiated plans for improvement. Key communication barriers included lack of effective standardized communication processes, practice style differences, and inadequate PC training in MH. Clinicians often accessed advice or formal consultation based on pre-existing across-discipline personal relationships. The work group identified collocated collaborative care, joint care planning, and joint case conferences as feasible, evidence-based interventions for improving communication. CQI tools enabled providers to systematically assess local communication barriers and facilitators and engaged stakeholders in developing possible solutions. A locally tailored CQI process focusing on communication helped initiate change strategies and ongoing improvement
Background Although oral hypoglycemic agents (OHAs) are an essential element of therapy for the management of type 2 diabetes, OHA adherence is often suboptimal. Pharmacists are increasingly being integrated into primary care as part of the move towards a patient-centered medical home and may have a positive influence on medication use. We examined whether the presence of pharmacists in primary care clinics was associated with higher OHA adherence. Methods This retrospective cohort study analyzed 280,603 diabetes patients in 196 primary care clinics within the Veterans Affairs healthcare system. Pharmacists presence, number of pharmacist full-time equivalents (FTEs), and the degree to which pharmacy services are perceived as a bottleneck in each clinic were obtained from the 2007 VA Clinical Practice Organizational Survey—Primary Care Director Module. Patient-level adherence to OHAs using medication possession ratios (MPRs) were constructed using refill data from administrative pharmacy databases after adjusting for patient characteristics. Clinic-level OHA adherence was measured as the proportion of patients with MPR >= 80%. We analyzed associations between pharmacy measures and clinic-level adherence using linear regression. Results We found no significant association between pharmacist presence and clinic-level OHA adherence. However, adherence was lower in clinics where pharmacy services were perceived as a bottleneck. Conclusions Pharmacist presence, regardless of the amount of FTE, was not associated with OHA medication adherence in primary care clinics. The exact role of pharmacists in clinics needs closer examination in order to determine how to most effectively use these resources to improve patient-centered outcomes including medication adherence. PMID:23148570
Bobiak, Sarah N; Zyzanski, Stephen J; Ruhe, Mary C; Carter, Caroline A; Ragan, Brian; Flocke, Susan A; Litaker, David; Stange, Kurt C
Capacity for change, or the ability and willingness to undertake change, is an organizational characteristic with potential to foster quality management in health care. We report on the development and psychometric properties of a quantitative measure of capacity for change for use in primary care settings. Following review of previous conceptual and empirical studies, we generated 117 items that assessed organizational structure, climate, and culture. Using information from direct observation and key informant interviews, a research team member rated these items for 15 primary care practices engaged in a quality improvement intervention. Distributional statistics, pairwise correlation analysis, Rasch modeling, and item content review guided item reduction and instrument finalization. Reliability and convergent validity were assessed. Ninety-two items were removed because of limited response distributions and redundancy or because of poor Rasch model fit. The final instrument comprising 25 items had excellent reliability (alpha = .94). A Rasch model-derived capacity for change score correlated well with an independently determined, qualitatively derived summary assessment of each practice's capacity for change (rhoS = 0.82), suggesting good convergent validity. We describe a new instrument for quantifying organizational capacity for change in primary care settings. The ability to quantify capacity for change may enable better recognition of practices likely to be successful in their change efforts and those first requiring capacity building prior to change interventions.
Upham, Susan J; Janamian, Tina; Crossland, Lisa; Jackson, Claire L
To determine the relevance and utility of online tools and resources to support organisational performance development in primary care and to complement the Primary Care Practice Improvement Tool (PC-PIT). A purposively recruited Expert Advisory Panel of 12 end users used a modified Delphi technique to evaluate 53 tools and resources identified through a previously conducted systematic review. The panel comprised six practice managers and six general practitioners who had participated in the PC-PIT pilot study in 2013-2014. Tools and resources were reviewed in three rounds using a standard pre-tested assessment form. Recommendations, scores and reasons for recommending or rejecting each tool or resource were analysed to determine the final suite of tools and resources. The evaluation was conducted from November 2014 to August 2015. Recommended tools and resources scored highly (mean score, 16/20) in Rounds 1 and 2 of review (n = 25). These tools and resources were perceived to be easily used, useful to the practice and supportive of the PC-PIT. Rejected resources scored considerably lower (mean score, 5/20) and were noted to have limitations such as having no value to the practice and poor utility (n = 6). A final review (Round 3) of 28 resources resulted in a suite of 21 to support the elements of the PC-PIT. This suite of tools and resources offers one approach to supporting the quality improvement initiatives currently in development in primary care reform.
Ouslander, Joseph G.; Bonner, Alice; Herndon, Laurie; Shutes, Jill
INTERACT is a publicly available quality improvement program that focuses on improving the identification, evaluation, and management of acute changes in condition of nursing home residents. Effective implementation has been associated with substantial reductions in hospitalization of nursing home residents. Familiarity with and support of program implementation by medical directors and primary care clinicians in the nursing home setting are essential to effectiveness and sustainability of the program over time. In addition to helping nursing homes prevent unnecessary hospitalizations and their related complications and costs, and thereby continuing to be or becoming attractive partners for hospitals, health care systems, managed care plans, and ACOs, effective INTERACT implementation will assist nursing homes in meeting the new requirement for a robust QAPI program which is being rolled out by the federal government over the next year. PMID:24513226
Harvey, Gill; Oliver, Kathryn; Humphreys, John; Rothwell, Katy; Hegarty, Janet
Undiagnosed chronic kidney disease (CKD) contributes to a high cost and care burden in secondary care. Uptake of evidence-based guidelines in primary care is inconsistent, resulting in variation in the detection and management of CKD. Routinely collected general practice data in one UK region suggested a CKD prevalence of 4.1%, compared with an estimated national prevalence of 8.5%. Of patients on CKD registers, ∼ 30% were estimated to have suboptimal management according to Public Health Observatory analyses. An evidence-based framework for implementation was developed. This informed the design of an improvement collaborative to work with a sample of 30 general practices. A two-phase collaborative was implemented between September 2009 and March 2012. Key elements of the intervention included learning events, improvement targets, Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles, benchmarking of audit data, facilitator support and staff time reimbursement. Outcomes were evaluated against two indicators: number of patients with CKD on practice registers; percentage of patients achieving evidence-based blood pressure (BP) targets, as a marker for CKD care. In Phase 1, recorded prevalence of CKD in collaborative practices increased ∼ 2-fold more than that in comparator local practices; in Phase 2, this increased to 4-fold, indicating improved case identification. Management of BP according to guideline recommendations also improved. An improvement collaborative with tailored facilitation support appears to promote the uptake of evidence-based guidance on the identification and management of CKD in primary care. A controlled evaluation study is needed to rigorously evaluate the impact of this promising improvement intervention. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press in association with the International Society for Quality in Health Care.
Lora Espinosa, A
To provide good asthma care to children and adolescents the following conditions are required: well-trained health professionals with the structure and resources necessary to perform their work efficiently, and client satisfaction as a measure of compliance and self-management. The aims of this study were to determine the current situation of asthma management by primary care pediatricians and to promote improvement of the healthcare and quality of life of these children and their families. We performed a descriptive study. A questionnaire was completed by primary care pediatricians attending asthma courses given by the Respiratory Team of the Spanish Association of Primary Care Pediatrics in 2001. Three hundred twenty-three questionnaires were completed. The mean age of the pediatricians was 42 years and 70.6 % were women. A total of 7.4 % referred all patients to the pediatric pneumologist and 21.3 % referred all patients to the pediatric allergy clinic; 61.9 % referred only patients with moderate-severe persistent asthma. Concerning items registered in medical records, 32.5 % recorded a codified asthma diagnosis and 61 % included severity classification. Spirometers were available to 48.6 % and peak flow meters to 45.5 %. With regard to lung function measurement, 17.3 % performed spirometry and 33.2 % performed peak expiratory flow. Concerning asthma educational issues, 90.4 % had received education on environmental factors, 81.7 % had received training in the proper use of medication inhalers and 41.2 % had received training in written self-management plans. This is the first study to present results on the current situation of asthma management by primary care pediatricians in Spain. The results show the need to improve record-keeping, facilitate the resources required for diagnosis and follow-up and prioritize education in order to achieve an optimal level of self-management by patients and their families.
Mochtar, I; Al-Monjed, M F
There has been little research into the effectiveness of primary-care diabetes clinics in the Middle East. This study in Qatar compared patient outcomes at a primary-care facility with a dedicated diabetes clinic and one without. Using a cross-sectional method, data on demographics, diabetes status and 6 clinical outcomes of diabetes care were collected from the records of patients who visited the clinics during 2012. Diabetes management in both facilities improved clinical outcomes over the 1-year observation period. The mean total cholesterol of patients attending the special clinic (n = 102) decreased significantly from 4.66 to 4.27 mmol/dL and LDL cholesterol from 3.42 to 3.22 mmol/dL. The LDL cholesterol of patients receiving standard care (n = 108) reduced significantly from 3.41 to 3.22 mmol/dL and HDL cholesterol increased from 0.83 to 0.87 mmol/dL. Inter-provider comparisons indicated that the outcomes in the facility with a diabetes clinic were not superior to those in the facility with standard care.
Chan, Bibiana C; Perkins, David; Wan, Qing; Zwar, Nick; Daniel, Chris; Crookes, Patrick; Harris, Mark F
Multidisciplinary care has been shown as the most effective option for chronic disease. The aim of the Team-link study was to assess the effectiveness of an intervention to improve teamwork among general practitioners (GPs), practice staff and allied health professionals (AHPs). This paper describes changes to teamwork using qualitative data collected in the study. Qualitative data about changes in internal and external professional collaboration were collected from facilitators' observations, GPs' reports and responses to a survey of AHPs assessing multidisciplinary teamwork. Multidisciplinary teams within general practices and external collaborations with AHPs including dietitians, diabetic educators, exercise physiologists, podiatrists, psychologists and physiotherapists. GPs, practice nurses, practice staff, AHPs. A 6-month intervention consisting of an educational workshop and structured facilitation using specially designed materials, backed up by informal telephone support, was delivered to 26 practices. Data were analysed thematically using an approach based on identifying actors and associated collaborative actions. New and enhanced communication pathways were observed between GPs, practice staff, patients and AHPs following the intervention. The enhanced information sharing expedited communication and improved interprofessional collaboration within general practices and with AHPs. There was evidence of increased patient participation and empowerment in the care process and improved collaboration by practice staff and allied health providers. The Team-link intervention improved professional collaboration among GPs, practice staff, AHPs and patients, increasing understanding and trust and enhancing multidisciplinary teamwork for chronic disease care in primary care settings.
Holland, Kieran; McGeoch, Graham; Gullery, Carolyn
This article describes a seven-year multifaceted intervention leading to sustained improvement in primary care radiology referral quality and value in Canterbury, New Zealand, and discusses the transferability to other health systems. Access criteria were developed with input from general practitioners and hospital-based specialists, and embedded in locally developed clinical pathways. A referral management service was created to streamline referral processes. Systems were developed to enable electronic referral and triage, and to provide visibility of prior imaging. A team of general practitioners was formed to continually review referrals relative to agreed criteria and to provide advice to referrers. Referring general practitioners were provided data and education about their referral patterns relative to their peers. A clinical audit programme was introduced to ensure quality and safety of care. The service achieved sustained improvements in referral quality (referral acceptance rates increased from 78% to 88%, urgent referrals reduced from 59% to 22%) and value (plain film volumes reduced by 40%). Sustained improvement to primary care radiology referral quality and value is achievable at scale using a multifaceted intervention. The transferability of this outcome is likely to be connected to supporting factors present in the Canterbury health system.
Gvozdanović, Darko; Koncar, Miroslav; Kojundzić, Vinko; Jezidzić, Hrvoje
In order to improve the quality of patient care, while at the same time keeping up with the pace of increased needs of the population for healthcare services that directly impacts on the cost of care delivery processes, the Republic of Croatia, under the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, has formed a strategy and campaign for national public healthcare system reform. The strategy is very comprehensive and addresses all niches of care delivery processes; it is founded on the enterprise information systems that will aim to support end-to-end business processes in the healthcare domain. Two major requirements are in focus: (1) to provide efficient healthcare-related data management in support of decision-making processes; (2) to support a continuous process of healthcare resource spending optimisation. The first project is the Integrated Healthcare Information System (IHCIS) on the primary care level; this encompasses the integration of all primary point-of-care facilities and subjects with the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance and Croatian National Institute of Public Health. In years to come, IHCIS will serve as the main integration platform for connecting all other stakeholders and levels of health care (that is, hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories) into a single enterprise healthcare network. This article gives an overview of Croatian public healthcare system strategy aims and goals, and focuses on properties and characteristics of the primary care project implementation that started in 2003; it achieved a major milestone in early 2007 - the official grand opening of the project with 350 GPs already fully connected to the integrated healthcare information infrastructure based on the IHCIS solution.
Holecki, Tomasz; Romaniuk, Piotr; Woźniak-Holecka, Joanna
Primary health care is an important part of any health care system. In highly developed countries it secures the population's most elementary health needs, with particular emphasis on preventive care and early intervention. Polish PHC model is currently undergoing a thorough transformation, associated with the need to adapt to standards designated based on the WHO's criteria, and with reference to the experience of other European countries. The paper describes the process of changes being carried out, in the context of previous experiences of reform relating to the sphere of organization, processes and efficiency. A review and systematization has been made, with regard to the undertaken activities in the field of deregulation and change of legal provisions, which are aimed at achieving the improvement of the efficiency of treatment and resource allocation. A set of recommendations based on expert's discourse have also been provided, with respect to future directions of Polish PHC transformation. PMID:27468269
Showstack, Jonathan; Lurie, Nicole; Larson, Eric B; Rothman, Arlyss Anderson; Hassmiller, Susan
Three decades ago, a renaissance helped create the foundations of primary care as we know it today. In recent years, however, new challenges have confronted primary care. We believe that the current challenges can be overcome and may, in fact, present an opportunity for a new renaissance of primary care to address the needs of our population. In this paper, we suggest seven core principles and a set of actions that will support a renaissance in, and a positive future for, primary care. The seven principles are 1) Health care must be organized to serve the needs of patients; 2) the goal of primary care systems should be the delivery of the highest-quality care as documented by measurable outcomes; 3) information and information systems are the backbone of the primary care process; 4) current health care systems must be reconstructed; 5) the health care financing system must support excellent primary care practice; 6) primary care education must be revitalized, with an emphasis on new delivery models and training in sites that deliver excellent primary care; and 7) the value of primary care practice must be continually improved, documented, and communicated. At the start of the 21st century, a vital, patient-centered primary care system has much to offer a rapidly changing population with increasingly diverse needs and expectations. If we keep the needs of persons and patients clearly in sight and design systems to meet those needs, primary care will thrive and our patients will be well served.
Gavagan, Thomas F; Du, Hongyan; Saver, Barry G; Adams, Gerald J; Graham, Douglas M; McCray, Regina; Goodrick, G Ken
The efficacy of rewarding physicians financially for preventive services is unproven. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of a physician pay-for-performance program similar to the Medicare Physician Quality Reporting Initiative program on quality of preventive care in a network of community health centers. A retrospective review of administrative data was done to evaluate a natural quasi-experiment in a network of publicly funded primary care clinics. Physicians in 6 of 11 clinics were given a financial incentive twice the size of the current Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' incentive for achieving group targets in preventive care that included cervical cancer screening, mammography, and pediatric immunization. They also received productivity incentives. Six years of performance indicators were compared between incentivized and nonincentivized clinics. We also surveyed the incentivized clinicians about their perception of the incentive program. Although some performance indicators improved for all measures and all clinics, there were no clinically significant differences between clinics that had incentives and those that did not. A linear trend test approached conventional significance levels for Papanicolaou smears (P = .08) but was of very modest magnitude compared with observed nonlinear variations; there was no suggestion of a linear trend for mammography or pediatric immunizations. The survey revealed that most physicians felt the incentives were not very effective in improving quality of care. We found no evidence for a clinically significant effect of financial incentives on performance of preventive care in these community health centers. Based on our findings and others, we believe there is great need for more research with strong research designs to determine the effects, both positive and negative, of financial incentives on clinical quality indicators in primary care.
Harvey, Gill; Oliver, Kathryn; Humphreys, John; Rothwell, Katy; Hegarty, Janet
Quality problem Undiagnosed chronic kidney disease (CKD) contributes to a high cost and care burden in secondary care. Uptake of evidence-based guidelines in primary care is inconsistent, resulting in variation in the detection and management of CKD. Initial assessment Routinely collected general practice data in one UK region suggested a CKD prevalence of 4.1%, compared with an estimated national prevalence of 8.5%. Of patients on CKD registers, ∼30% were estimated to have suboptimal management according to Public Health Observatory analyses. Choice of solution An evidence-based framework for implementation was developed. This informed the design of an improvement collaborative to work with a sample of 30 general practices. Implementation A two-phase collaborative was implemented between September 2009 and March 2012. Key elements of the intervention included learning events, improvement targets, Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles, benchmarking of audit data, facilitator support and staff time reimbursement. Evaluation Outcomes were evaluated against two indicators: number of patients with CKD on practice registers; percentage of patients achieving evidence-based blood pressure (BP) targets, as a marker for CKD care. In Phase 1, recorded prevalence of CKD in collaborative practices increased ∼2-fold more than that in comparator local practices; in Phase 2, this increased to 4-fold, indicating improved case identification. Management of BP according to guideline recommendations also improved. Lessons learned An improvement collaborative with tailored facilitation support appears to promote the uptake of evidence-based guidance on the identification and management of CKD in primary care. A controlled evaluation study is needed to rigorously evaluate the impact of this promising improvement intervention. PMID:25525148
Mata-Cases, M; Roura-Olmeda, P; Berengué-Iglesias, M; Birulés-Pons, M; Mundet-Tuduri, X; Franch-Nadal, J; Benito-Badorrey, B; Cano-Pérez, J F
To assess the evolution of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) quality indicators in primary care centers (PCC) as part of the Group for the Study of Diabetes in Primary Care (GEDAPS) Continuous Quality Improvement (GCQI) programme in Catalonia. Sequential cross-sectional studies were performed during 1993-2007. Process and outcome indicators in random samples of patients from each centre were collected. The results of each evaluation were returned to each centre to encourage the implementation of correcting interventions. Sixty-four different educational activities were performed during the study period with the participation of 2041 professionals. Clinical records of 23,501 patients were evaluated. A significant improvement was observed in the determination of some annual process indicators: HbA(1c) (51.7% vs. 88.9%); total cholesterol (75.9% vs. 90.9%); albuminuria screening (33.9% vs. 59.4%) and foot examination (48.9% vs. 64.2%). The intermediate outcome indicators also showed significant improvements: glycemic control [HbA(1c) ≤ 7% (< 57 mmol/mol); (41.5% vs. 64.2%)]; total cholesterol [≤ 200 mg/dl (5.17 mmol/l); (25.5% vs. 65.6%)]; blood pressure [≤ 140/90 mmHg; (45.4% vs. 66.1%)]. In addition, a significant improvement in some final outcome indicators such as prevalence of foot ulcers (7.6% vs. 2.6%); amputations (1.9% vs. 0.6%) and retinopathy (18.8% vs. 8.6%) was observed. Although those changes should not be strictly attributed to the GCQI programme, significant improvements in some process indicators, parameters of control and complications were observed in a network of primary care centres in Catalonia. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Mata-Cases, M; Roura-Olmeda, P; Berengué-Iglesias, M; Birulés-Pons, M; Mundet-Tuduri, X; Franch-Nadal, J; Benito-Badorrey, B; Cano-Pérez, J F
Aims To assess the evolution of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) quality indicators in primary care centers (PCC) as part of the Group for the Study of Diabetes in Primary Care (GEDAPS) Continuous Quality Improvement (GCQI) programme in Catalonia. Methods Sequential cross-sectional studies were performed during 1993–2007. Process and outcome indicators in random samples of patients from each centre were collected. The results of each evaluation were returned to each centre to encourage the implementation of correcting interventions. Sixty-four different educational activities were performed during the study period with the participation of 2041 professionals. Results Clinical records of 23,501 patients were evaluated. A significant improvement was observed in the determination of some annual process indicators: HbA1c (51.7% vs. 88.9%); total cholesterol (75.9% vs. 90.9%); albuminuria screening (33.9% vs. 59.4%) and foot examination (48.9% vs. 64.2%). The intermediate outcome indicators also showed significant improvements: glycemic control [HbA1c ≤ 7% (< 57 mmol/mol); (41.5% vs. 64.2%)]; total cholesterol [≤ 200 mg/dl (5.17 mmol/l); (25.5% vs. 65.6%)]; blood pressure [≤ 140/90 mmHg; (45.4% vs. 66.1%)]. In addition, a significant improvement in some final outcome indicators such as prevalence of foot ulcers (7.6% vs. 2.6%); amputations (1.9% vs. 0.6%) and retinopathy (18.8% vs. 8.6%) was observed. Conclusions Although those changes should not be strictly attributed to the GCQI programme, significant improvements in some process indicators, parameters of control and complications were observed in a network of primary care centres in Catalonia. PMID:22340449
Rodriguez, Hector P; Chen, Xiao; Martinez, Ana E; Friedberg, Mark W
Early experiences of patient-centered medical home implementation indicate that redesigning primary care is an intensive organizational change that is most effectively undertaken by high-functioning interdisciplinary teams. Team effectiveness research indicates that consistent availability of team members and other aspects of team structure can impact teamwork and organizational outcomes. We conducted a survey of 766 adult primary care providers and staff in 34 California safety net practices to assess primary care team structure (team size, team member availability, and access to interdisciplinary expertise), teamwork, and readiness for change. We used path models with robust standard errors for clustering of respondents within practices to examine relationships between team member availability and readiness for change. Using path analysis, we examined the extent to which better teamwork mediated relationships between team member availability and readiness for change. We received 628 completed surveys (response rate = 82%). Greater team member availability was associated with greater readiness for change, but the relationship was stronger for staff than for primary care providers. Contrary to our hypothesis, path analyses revealed that the relationship of team member availability and greater readiness for change was only partially mediated (21%) by better teamwork. The direct effect of teamwork on readiness for change is approximately 2.9 times larger than the direct effect of team member availability on greater readiness for change. Ensuring that members perceive that their teammates are routinely available to them may improve readiness for implementing organizational changes like adopting patient-centered medical home models. Given that better teamwork only partially explained the availability-readiness relationship, additional research to identify the mechanisms through which consistent team member availability increases change readiness could lend insight into
The poor planning of health care professionals in Spain has led to an exodus of doctors leaving the country. France is one of the chosen countries for Spanish doctors to develop their professional career. The French health care system belongs to the Bismarck model. In this model, health care system is financed jointly by workers and employers through payroll deduction. The right to health care is linked to the job, and provision of services is done by sickness-funds controlled by the Government. Primary care in France is quite different from Spanish primary care. General practitioners are independent workers who have the right to set up a practice anywhere in France. This lack of regulation has generated a great problem of "medical desertification" with problems of health care access and inequalities in health. French doctors do not want to work in rural areas or outside cities because "they are not value for money". Medical salary is linked to professional activity. The role of doctors is to give punctual care. Team work team does not exist, and coordination between primary and secondary care is lacking. Access to diagnostic tests, hospitals and specialists is unlimited. Duplicity of services, adverse events and inefficiencies are the norm. Patients can freely choose their doctor, and they have a co-payment for visits and hospital care settings. Two years training is required to become a general practitioner. After that, continuing medical education is compulsory, but it is not regulated. Although the French medical Health System was named by the WHO in 2000 as the best health care system in the world, is it not that good. While primary care in Spain has room for improvement, there is a long way for France to be like Spain. Copyright © 2015 Sociedad Española de Médicos de Atención Primaria (SEMERGEN). Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.
Zavala-González, Marco Antonio; Cabrera-Pivaral, Carlos Enrique; Orozco-Valerio, María de Jesús; Ramos-Herrera, Igor Martín
To determine the effectiveness of interventions for improving drug prescribing in Primary Health Care units. Systematic review and meta-analysis. Searches were made in MedLine(©), ScienceDirect(©), Springer(©), SciELO(©), Dialnet(©), RedALyC(©) and Imbiomed(©), in Spanish, English and Portuguese, using keywords "drug prescribing", "intervention studies" and "primary health care", indexed in each data base up to August 2014. Experimental and quasi-experimental studies were included that had a CASP-score>5 and that evaluated effect of any type intervention on the quality of drug prescription in Primary Health Care. A total of 522 articles were found, and an analysis was performed on 12 that reported 17 interventions: 64.7% educational, 23.5% incorporating pharmacists into the health team, and 11.8% on the use of computer applications. The strong "intervention/improvement" associations were educational interventions OR=2.47 (95% CI; 2.28 - 2.69), incorporation of pharmacists OR=3.28 (95% CI; 2.58 4.18), and use of computer applications OR=10.16 (95% CI; 8.81 -11.71). The use of interventions with computer applications showed to be more effective than educational interventions and incorporation pharmacists into the health team. Future studies are required that include economic variables such as, implementation costs, drug costs and other expenses associated with health care and treatment of diseases. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.
Sanders, Ariëtte R J; van Weeghel, Inge; Vogelaar, Maartje; Verheul, William; Pieters, Ron H M; de Wit, Niek J; Bensing, Jozien M
Background. In primary care, many consultations address symptom-based complaints. Recovery from these complaints seldom exceeds placebo effects. Patient participation, because of its supposed effects on trust and patient expectancies, is assumed to benefit patients’ recovery. While the idea is theoretically promising, it is still unclear what the effects of increased patient participation are on patient outcomes. Aim. To review the effects of controlled intervention studies aiming to improve patient participation in face-to-face primary care consultations on patient-oriented and/or disease-oriented outcomes. Methods. This study is a systematic review. A systematic search was undertaken for randomized controlled trials designed to measure the effects of interventions that aimed to improve adult patients’ participation in primary care visits. The CINAHL, Cochrane, EMBASE, PsycINFO and PubMed databases were searched. Results. Seven different trials fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Three of the studies were related to symptom-based complaints. Five studies measured patient-oriented outcomes, the primary outcome of interest for this review. All studies suffered from substantial bias. Studies varied widely in their aims, types of complaints/diseases, strength of the interventions and their outcomes. The effects on patient-oriented outcomes and disease-oriented outcomes were ambiguous. Conclusion. Little research has been performed on health outcomes of interventions aiming to increase patient participation in general practice visits among patients suffering from symptom-based complaints. The results still are non-conclusive. The quality of the trials has been weak, possibly due to the complexity of the concept. This weak quality may explain the lack of conclusive results. Proposals for future research designs are offered. PMID:23629738
Mold, James W.; Peterson, Kevin A.
PURPOSE We wanted to describe the emerging role of primary care practice-based in research, quality improvement (QI), and translation of research into practice (TRIP). METHODS We gathered information from the published literature, discussions with PBRN leaders, case examples, and our own personal experience to describe a role for PBRNs that comfortably bridges the gap between research and QI, discovery and application, academicians and practitioners—a role that may lead to the establishment of true learning communities. We provide specific recommendations for network directors, network clinicians, and other potential stakeholders. RESULTS PBRNs function at the interface between research and QI, an interface called TRIP by some members of the research community. In doing so, PBRNs are helping to clarify the difficulty of applying study findings to everyday care as an inappropriate disconnect between discovery and implementation, research and practice. Participatory models are emerging in which stakeholders agree on their goals; apply their collective knowledge, skills, and resources to accomplish these goals; and use research and QI methods when appropriate. CONCLUSIONS PBRNs appear to be evolving from clinical laboratories into learning communities, proving grounds for generalizable solutions to clinical problems, and engines for improvement of primary care delivery systems. PMID:15928213
Background Practice facilitation has proven to be effective at improving care delivery. Practice facilitators are healthcare professionals who work with and support other healthcare providers. To the best of our knowledge, very few studies have explored the perspective of facilitators. The objective of this study was to gain insight into the barriers that facilitators face during the facilitation process and to identify approaches used to overcome these barriers to help practices move towards positive change. Methods We conducted semi-structured interviews with four practice facilitators who worked with 84 primary care practices in Eastern Ontario, Canada over a period of five years (2007–2012). The transcripts were analyzed independently by three members of the research team using an open coding technique. A qualitative data analysis using immersion/crystallization technique was applied to interpret the interview transcripts. Results Common barriers identified by the facilitators included accessibility to the practice (e.g., difficulty scheduling meetings, short meetings), organizational behaviour (team organization, team conflicts, etc.), challenges with practice engagement (e.g., lack of interest, lack of trust), resistance to change, and competing priorities. To help practices move towards positive change the facilitators had to tailor their approach, integrate themselves, be persistent with practices, and exhibit flexibility. Conclusions The consensus on redesigning and transforming primary care in North America and around the world is rapidly growing. Practice facilitation has been pivotal in materializing the transformation in the way primary care practices deliver care. This study provides an exclusive insight into facilitator approaches which will assist the design and implementation of small- and large-scale facilitation interventions. PMID:24490746
Verstappen, Wim; Gaal, Sander; Esmail, Aneez; Wensing, Michel
ABSTRACT Background: To improve patient safety it is necessary to identify the causes of patient safety incidents, devise solutions and measure the (cost-) effectiveness of improvement efforts. Objective: This paper provides a broad overview with practical guidance on how to improve patient safety. Methods: We used modified online Delphi procedures to reach consensus on methods to improve patient safety and to identify important features of patient safety management in primary care. Two pilot studies were carried out to assess the value of prospective risk analysis (PRA), as a means of identifying the causes of a patient safety incident. Results: A range of different methods can be used to improve patient safety but they have to be contextually specific. Practice organization, culture, diagnostic errors and medication safety were found to be important domains for further improvement. Improvement strategies for patient safety could benefit from insights gained from research on implementation of evidence-based practice. Patient involvement and prospective risk analysis are two promising and innovative strategies for improving patient safety in primary care. Conclusion: A range of methods is available to improve patient safety, but there is no ‘magic bullet.’ Besides better use of the available methods, it is important to use new and potentially more effective strategies, such as prospective risk analysis. PMID:26339837
Dzhakeli, I V; Edzhibadze, O I; Gerzmava, O Kh
Improving the quality and efficiency of primary health care system is a key challenge. In this regard, problems that have accumulated in the system over the past decade - a weak material base of outpatient-polyclinic institutions, especially in rural areas; a surplus of medical personnel; lack of control by local, regional and central authorities--still remain as serious obstacle. The issue of financing the provided health services, is also particularly important, given the fact that a significant portion of the cost of medical services is covered by the patient directly. And as a consequence, the low level of applications for outpatient-polyclinic assistance due to declining affordability of medical services. In connection with the foregoing, the authors of the paper raise the question of implementing strict, multi-component system of quality control of medical care for patients. In particular, they propose: to base modern organization works on improving the quality of primary health care system on the principles of general management theory; Modern management of service quality should be clearly oriented towards the needs of the population in health care, its structure and dynamics; accessibility, incentives, determined by economic and technological competition characteristic to the market; Modern quality management, regardless of ownership and scale of outpatient-polyclinic establishment should optimally combine the actions, methods and tools that provide, on the one hand--the organization of diagnostic and therapeutic-prophylactic processes meeting the needs of the people, and on the other--the introduction of new methods and means to ensure the modern level of medical care; Schematic diagram of quality control mechanism organically interacts with the market research and includes a block of policy development in terms of quality.
Omidvari, Amir-Houshang; Vali, Yasaman; Murray, Susan M; Wonderling, David; Rashidian, Arash
Given the prevalence of under-nutrition and reports of inadequate nutritional management of patients in hospitals and the community, nutritional screening may play a role in reducing the risks of malnutrition. Screening programmes can invoke costs to health systems and patients. It is therefore important to assess the effectiveness of nutritional screening programmes. To examine the effectiveness of nutritional screening in improving quality of care (professional practice) and patient outcomes compared with usual care. We searched the following databases: CENTRAL (The Cochrane Library), MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL up to June 2012 to find relevant studies. Randomised controlled studies, controlled clinical trials, controlled before-after studies and interrupted time series studies assessing the effectiveness of nutritional screening were eligible for inclusion in the review. We considered process outcomes (for example patient identification, referral to dietitian) and patient outcomes (for example mortality, change in body mass index (BMI)). Participants were adult patients aged 16 years or over. We included studies conducted in different settings, including hospitals, out-patient clinics, primary care or long term care settings. We independently assessed the risk of bias and extracted data from the included studies. Meta-analysis was considered but was not conducted due to the discrepancies between the studies. The studies were heterogeneous in their design, setting, intervention and outcomes. We analysed the data using a narrative synthesis approach. After conducting initial searches and screening the titles and abstracts of the identified literature, 77 full text papers were retrieved and read. Ultimately three studies were included. Two controlled before-after studies were conducted in hospital settings (one in the UK and one in the Netherlands) and one cluster randomised controlled trial was conducted in a primary care setting (in the USA).The study conducted in
Hepworth, Julie; Askew, Deborah; Foley, Wendy; Duthie, Deb; Shuter, Patricia; Combo, Michelle; Clements, Lesley-Ann
. Improving social and emotional well-being is critical to addressing the health inequalities experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This study demonstrates the benefits for clients and health professionals of integrating culturally safe mental health services into primary health care.
Bodenheimer, Thomas; Young, Denise M.; MacGregor, Kate; Holtrop, Jodi Summers
PURPOSE In what ways is primary care practice-based research a facilitator of practice improvement vs a barrier to practice change? This article aims to alert investigators to the pitfalls they may face in undertaking the dual agenda of research and practice improvement. METHODS We derived examples of the relationship between the research and practice improvement goals of 17 Prescription for Health (P4H) grantees from verbal communications with the grantees, field notes from interviews and site visits, and entries made by grantees to an online diary managed by the P4H Analysis Team. RESULTS An analysis of key themes identified factors facilitating and impeding the dual goals of research and practice improvement. The requirements of conducting research mandated by institutional review boards, including patient enrollment and consent, often constituted barriers to practice improvement. The choice of practices in which to conduct research and improvement activities and the manner in which the practices are approached may affect the outcome of both research and practice improvement goals. Approaching practices with a time-limited project mentality can interfere with a process of permanent practice change. The RE-AIM construct (reach, efficacy/effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance) is useful in designing research interventions that facilitate practice improvement. CONCLUSIONS Projects that meld research studies and practice improvement goals must pay attention to the potential conflicts between research and practice change, and must attempt to design research studies so that they facilitate rather than inhibit practice improvement. PMID:16049078
Bodenheimer, Thomas; Young, Denise M; MacGregor, Kate; Holtrop, Jodi Summers
In what ways is primary care practice-based research a facilitator of practice improvement vs a barrier to practice change? This article aims to alert investigators to the pitfalls they may face in undertaking the dual agenda of research and practice improvement. We derived examples of the relationship between the research and practice improvement goals of 17 Prescription for Health (P4H) grantees from verbal communications with the grantees, field notes from interviews and site visits, and entries made by grantees to an online diary managed by the P4H Analysis Team. An analysis of key themes identified factors facilitating and impeding the dual goals of research and practice improvement. The requirements of conducting research mandated by institutional review boards, including patient enrollment and consent, often constituted barriers to practice improvement. The choice of practices in which to conduct research and improvement activities and the manner in which the practices are approached may affect the outcome of both research and practice improvement goals. Approaching practices with a time-limited project mentality can interfere with a process of permanent practice change. The RE-AIM construct (reach, efficacy/effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance) is useful in designing research interventions that facilitate practice improvement. Projects that meld research studies and practice improvement goals must pay attention to the potential conflicts between research and practice change, and must attempt to design research studies so that they facilitate rather than inhibit practice improvement.
Hansen, Lars Jørgen; Drivsholm, Thomas B
This review should be cited as: Renders CM, Valk GD, Griffin S. Wagner EH, Eijk JThM van, Assendelft WJJ. Interventions to improve the management of diabetes mellitus in primary care, outpatient and community settings (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 2, 2001. Oxford: Update Software. A substantive amendment to this systematic review was last made on 29 June 2000. Cochrane reviews are regularly checked and updated if necessary. Diabetes is a common chronic disease that is increasingly managed in primary care. Different systems have been proposed to manage diabetes care. To assess the effects of different interventions, targeted at health professionals or the structure in which they deliver care, on the management of patients with diabetes in primary care, outpatient and community settings. We searched the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group specialised register, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (Issue 4 1999), MEDLINE (1966-1999), EMBASE (1980-1999), Cinahl (1982-1999), and reference lists of articles. Randomised trials (RCTs), controlled clinical trials (CCTs), controlled before and after studies (CBAs) and interrupted time series (ITS) analyses of professional, financial and organisational strategies aimed at improving care for people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The participants were health care professionals, including physicians, nurses and pharmacists. The outcomes included objectively measured health professional performance or patient outcomes, and self-report measures with known validity and reliability. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed study quality. Forty-one studies were included involving more than 200 practices and 48,000 patients. Twenty-seven studies were RCTs, 12 were CBAs, and two were ITS. The studies were heterogeneous in terms of interventions, participants, settings and outcomes. The methodological quality of the studies was often poor. In all studies the intervention
Kim, Bo; Lucatorto, Michelle A; Hawthorne, Kara; Hersh, Janis; Myers, Raquel; Elwy, A Rani; Graham, Glenn D
Care coordination between the specialty care provider (SCP) and the primary care provider (PCP) is a critical component of safe, efficient, and patient-centered care. Veterans Health Administration conducted a series of focus groups of providers, from specialty care and primary care clinics at VA Medical Centers nationally, to assess 1) what SCPs and PCPs perceive to be current practices that enable or hinder effective care coordination with one another and 2) how these perceptions differ between the two groups of providers. A qualitative thematic analysis of the gathered data validates previous studies that identify communication as being an important enabler of coordination, and uncovers relationship building between specialty care and primary care (particularly through both formal and informal relationship-building opportunities such as collaborative seminars and shared lunch space, respectively) to be the most notable facilitator of effective communication between the two sides. Results from this study suggest concrete next steps that medical facilities can take to improve care coordination, using as their basis the mutual understanding and respect developed between SCPs and PCPs through relationship-building efforts.
Lemak, Christy Harris; Nahra, Tammie A; Cohen, Genna R; Erb, Natalie D; Paustian, Michael L; Share, David; Hirth, Richard A
As policy makers and others seek to reduce health care cost growth while improving health care quality, one approach gaining momentum is fee-for-value reimbursement. This payment strategy maintains the traditional fee-for-service arrangement but includes quality and spending incentives. We examined Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's Physician Group Incentive Program, which uses a fee-for-value approach focused on primary care physicians. We analyzed the program's impact on quality and spending from 2008 to 2011 for over three million beneficiaries in over 11,000 physician practices. Participation in the incentive program was associated with approximately 1.1 percent lower total spending for adults (5.1 percent lower for children) and the same or improved performance on eleven of fourteen quality measures over time. Our findings contribute to the growing body of evidence about the potential effectiveness of models that align payment with cost and quality performance, and they demonstrate that it is possible to transform reimbursement within a fee-for-service framework to encourage and incentivize physicians to provide high-quality care, while also reducing costs.
Health care is at its best when both the practitioner and patient are well-informed. In many central urban and remote rural areas, however, health care is characterized by a lack of continuity and coordination among providers. In these areas, a local information infrastructure and a patient-centered system of primary care are missing. Decision-making and ability to follow through is hampered, with limited involvement of patients in planning care and insufficient aggregate data for cost analysis, outcome research, community health planning, and other purposes. A Children's Health Network has been designed to extend current information technology to these underserved areas. Our approach to improving quality of individual care and controlling costs emphasizes use of computerized clinical information networks for better decision making and continuity, and secondarily through data aggregation for financial, research, and public health functions. This is in distinction to information systems centered on billing and administrative needs and to cost-control efforts which rely on fiscal and managerial ('gatekeeper') mechanisms. A uniform data base among sites serving the same population will answer several clinical and public health needs.
Lawrence, Phillip T; Grotzke, Marissa P; Rosenblum, Yanina; Nelson, Richard E; LaFleur, Joanne; Miller, Karla L; Ma, Junjie; Cannon, Grant W
Significant improvements in secondary prevention of osteoporotic fractures have been noted with fracture liaison services. However, similar models for the primary prevention of such fractures have not been reported. To determine the impact of a Bone Health Team (BHT) on osteoporosis screening and treatment rates in U.S. veterans in primary care practices. Historical cohort study of a primary care-based intervention of a BHT from February 2013 to February 2015. Community-based outpatient clinics of the Salt Lake City Veterans Affairs Health Care System. Men aged 70 years and older and women aged 65 years and older. Enrollment in the BHT. Rates of dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) completion, chart diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia, completion of vitamin D measurement, and initiation of fracture reducing medication. Our cohort consisted of 7644 individuals, 975 of whom were exposed to the BHT and 6669 of whom were not. Comparison of patients exposed to the BHT versus non-exposed subjects demonstrated a substantial increase in all outcome measures studied. Hazard ratios (HRs) from multivariable cox proportional hazard models were: measurement of vitamin D, HR = 1.619 ( P < .001); chart diagnosis of osteopenia, HR = 37.00 ( P < .001); chart diagnosis of osteoporosis, HR = 16.38 ( P < .001); osteoporosis medication, HR = 17.03 ( P < .001); and completion of DXA, HR = 139.9 ( P < .001). The implementation of a dedicated BHT produced significantly increased rates of intermediate osteoporosis outcome measures in US veterans in primary care practices. Additional research describing medication adherence rates and cost-effectiveness is forthcoming.
Edinger, Jack D.; Grubber, Janet; Ulmer, Christi; Zervakis, Jennifer; Olsen, Maren
resulted in benefits to patients' sleep/wake symptoms. Clinical Trials Registration: This study is registered with clinicaltrials.gov with identifier # NCT00390572. Citation: Edinger JD, Grubber J, Ulmer C, Zervakis J, Olsen M. A collaborative paradigm for improving management of sleep disorders in primary care: a randomized clinical trial. SLEEP 2016;39(1):237–247. PMID:26285003
Beardshaw, V; Gordon, P; Plamping, D
Most commentators on the Tomlinson report have agreed with its emphasis on improving primary and community care. The three elements of such a strategy are a remedial programme to bring primary care up to national standards, a programme to provide such services to people with non-standard needs such as mobile Londoners, ethnic minorities, and homeless people, and the development of an expanded model of primary care. No one model will be appropriate across all of London. The process should start with an audit of existing resources and services within each community, together with an analysis of needs. From this would develop a local programme with specific plans for investment in premises, staffing, training, and management. New contractual mechanisms may be needed to attract practitioners, improve their premises, secure out of hours services, and provide medical cover for community beds. There should also be incentives for closer working between primary and secondary services. No developments on the scale needed for London have been carried out in primary care within the lifetime of the NHS--but their success will be critical to the calibre of health services for Londoners into the next century.
We propose to achieve this aim by accomplishing the following objectives: (a) to develop a brief alert algorithm that can be used by primary care...following objectives: (a) to develop a brief alert algorithm that can be used by primary care providers to accurately identify high-risk patients; (b) to
Tellegen, Cassandra L.; Sanders, Matthew R.
Parenting is central to the health and well-being of children. Children with developmental disabilities have been shown to be at increased risk of developing emotional and behavioral problems. Parent training programs are effective interventions for improving child behavior and family functioning. This paper describes the outcomes of a brief 4-session parenting intervention (Primary Care Stepping Stones Triple P) targeting compliance and cooperative play skills in an 8-year-old girl with Asperger's disorder and ADHD combined type. The intervention was associated with decreases in child behavior problems, increases in parenting confidence, and decreases in dysfunctional parenting styles. This paper demonstrates that low-intensity parenting interventions can lead to significant improvements in child behavior and family functioning. Such brief interventions are cost effective, can be widely disseminated, and have been designed to be delivered within primary health care settings. Pediatricians can play a key role in identifying parents in need of assistance and in helping them access evidence-based parenting interventions. PMID:22928141
Lofters, AK; Vahabi, M; Prakash, V; Banerjee, L; Bansal, P; Goel, S; Dunn, S
Background Cancer screening uptake is known to be low among South Asian residents of Ontario. The objective of this pilot study was to determine if lay health educators embedded within the practices of primary care providers could improve willingness to screen and cancer screening uptake for South Asian patients taking a quality improvement approach. Materials and methods Participating physicians selected quality improvement initiatives to use within their offices that they felt could increase willingness to screen and cancer screening uptake. They implemented initiatives, adapting as necessary, for six months. Results Four primary care physicians participated in the study. All approximated that at least 60% of their patients were of South Asian ethnicity. All physicians chose to work with a preexisting lay health educator program geared toward South Asians. Health ambassadors spoke to patients in the office and telephoned patients. For all physicians, ~60% of South Asian patients who were overdue for cancer screening and who spoke directly to health ambassadors stated they were willing to be screened. One physician was able to track actual screening among contacted patients and found that screening uptake was relatively high: from 29.2% (colorectal cancer) to 44.6% (breast cancer) of patients came in for screening within six months of the first phone calls. Although physicians viewed the health ambassadors positively, they found the study to be time intensive and resource intensive, especially as this work was additional to usual clinical duties. Discussion Using South Asian lay health educators embedded within primary care practices to telephone patients in their own languages showed promise in this study to increase awareness about willingness to screen and cancer screening uptake, but it was also time intensive and resource intensive with numerous challenges. Future quality improvement efforts should further develop the phone call invitation process, as well as
Background Colombia has a highly segmented and fragmented national health system that contributes to inequitable health outcomes. In 2004 the district government of Bogota initiated a Primary Health Care (PHC) strategy to improve health care access and population health status. This study aims to analyse the contribution of the PHC strategy to the improvement of health outcomes controlling for socioeconomic variables. Methods A longitudinal ecological analysis using data from secondary sources was carried out. The analysis used data from 2003 and 2007 (one year before and 3 years after the PHC implementation). A Primary Health Care Index (PHCI) of coverage intensity was constructed. According to the PHCI, localities were classified into two groups: high and low coverage. A multivariate analysis using a Poisson regression model for each year separately and a Panel Poisson regression model to assess changes between the groups over the years was developed. Dependent variables were infant mortality rate, under-5 mortality rate, infant mortality rate due to acute diarrheal disease and pneumonia, prevalence of acute malnutrition, vaccination coverage for diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (DPT) and prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding. The independent variable was the PHCI. Control variables were sewerage coverage, health system insurance coverage and quality of life index. Results The high PHCI localities as compared with the low PHCI localities showed significant risk reductions of under-5 mortality (13.8%) and infant mortality due to pneumonia (37.5%) between 2003 and 2007. The probability of being vaccinated for DPT also showed a significant increase of 4.9%. The risk of infant mortality and of acute malnutrition in children under-5 years was lesser in the high coverage group than in the low one; however relative changes were not statistically significant. Conclusions Despite the adverse contextual conditions and the limitations imposed by the Colombian health
Ion, Allyson; Sunderji, Nadiya; Jansz, Gwen; Ghavam-Rassoul, Abbas
The integration of mental health specialists into primary care has been widely advocated to deliver evidence-based mental health care to a defined population while improving access, clinical outcomes, and cost efficiency. Integrated care has been infrequently and inconsistently translated into real-world settings; as a result, the key individual components of effective integrated care remain unclear. This article reports findings from a qualitative study that explored provider and client experiences of integrated care. We conducted in-depth interviews with integrated care providers (n = 13) and clients (n = 9) to understand their perspectives and experiences of integrated care including recommended areas for quality measurement and improvement. The authors used qualitative content and reflexive thematic analytic approaches to synthesize the interview data. Clients and integrated care providers agreed regarding the overarching concepts of the what, how, and why of integrated care including co-location of care; continuity of care; team composition and functioning; client centeredness; and comprehensive care for individuals and populations. Providers and clients proposed a number of dimensions that could be the focus for quality measurement and evaluation, illuminating what is needed for successful context-sensitive spreading and scaling of integrated care interventions. With a mounting gap between the empirical support for integrated care approaches and the implementation of these models, there is a need to clarify the aims of integrated care and the key ingredients required for widespread implementation outside of research settings. This study has important implications for future integrated care research, and health care provider and client engagement in the quality movement. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
Tsao, Jennie C. I.; Dobalian, Aram; Wiens, Brenda A.; Gylys, Julius A.; Evans, Garret D.
Context: Recent bioterrorist attacks have highlighted the critical need for health care organizations to prepare for future threats. Yet, relatively little attention has been paid to the mental health needs of rural communities in the wake of such events. A critical aspect of bioterrorism is emphasis on generating fear and uncertainty, thereby…
Tsao, Jennie C. I.; Dobalian, Aram; Wiens, Brenda A.; Gylys, Julius A.; Evans, Garret D.
Context: Recent bioterrorist attacks have highlighted the critical need for health care organizations to prepare for future threats. Yet, relatively little attention has been paid to the mental health needs of rural communities in the wake of such events. A critical aspect of bioterrorism is emphasis on generating fear and uncertainty, thereby…
Schiff, Gordon D; Bearden, Trudy; Hunt, Lindsay Swain; Azzara, Jennifer; Larmon, Jay; Phillips, Russell S; Singer, Sara; Bennett, Brandon; Sugarman, Jonathan R; Bitton, Asaf; Ellner, Andrew
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer death, reducible by screening and early diagnosis, yet many patients fail to receive recommended screening. As part of an academic improvement collaborative, 25 primary care practices worked to improve CRC screening and diagnosis. The project featured triannual learning sessions, monthly conference calls, practice coach support, and monthly reporting. The project phases included literature review and interviews with national leaders/organizations, development of driver diagrams to identify key factors and change ideas, project launch and practice team planning, and a practice improvement phase. The project activities included (1) inventory of barriers and best practices, (2) driver diagram to drive improvements, (3) list of changes to try, (4) compilation of lessons learned, and (5) five key changes to optimize screening and follow-up. Practices leveraged prior transformation efforts to track patients for screening and follow-up during and between office visits. By mapping processes, testing changes, and collecting data, sites targeted opportunities to improve quality, safety, efficiency, and patient and care team experience. Successful change interventions centered around partnering with gastroenterology, engaging leadership, leveraging registries and health information technology, promoting alternative screening options, and partnering with and supporting patients. Several practices achieved improvement in screening rates, while others demonstrated no change from baseline during the 10-month testing and implementation phase (July 2014-April 2015). The collaborative effectively engaged teams in a broad set of process improvements with key lessons learned related to barriers, information technology challenges, outreach challenges/strategies, and importance of stakeholder and patient engagement. Copyright © 2017 The Joint Commission. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kilduff, Caroline; Lois, Charis
Up to five percent of primary care consultations are eye-related, yet 96% of General Practitioners (GPs) do not undergo postgraduate ophthalmology training. Most do not feel assured performing eye assessments. Some red eye conditions can become sight threatening, and often exhibit red-flag features. These features include moderate pain, photophobia, reduced visual acuity (VA), eye-trauma, or unilateral marked redness. The aim of this project was to improve primary care assessment and referral of patients presenting with red-flag features based on the NICE 'Red Eye' Clinical Knowledge Summary recommendations. Data was collected retrospectively from 139 red eye consultations. A practice meeting highlighted poor awareness of red-flag features, low confidence levels in eye assessments, and time-constraints during appointments. Interventions were based on feedback from staff. These included a primary care teaching session on red-flag features, a VA measurement tutorial, and provision of a red eye toolkit, including VA equipment, to each consultation room. At baseline, each patient had on average 0.9 red-flag features assessed. Only 36.0% (9/25) of patients with red-flag features were appropriately referred to same-day ophthalmology services. Following two improvement cycles, a significant improvement was seen in almost every parameter. On average, each patient had 2.7 red-flag features assessed (vs 0.9, p<0.001). VA was assessed in 55.6% of consultations (vs 7.9%, p<0.001), pain was quantified in 81.5% (vs 20.9%, p=0.005), eye-trauma or foreign-body (51.8% vs 8.6%, p<0.001), extent of redness was documented in 66.7% (vs 14.4%, p<0.001). Only photophobia remained poorly assessed (18.5% vs 14.4%, p=0.75). Following this, 75.0% (6/8) of patients were appropriately referred. This project reflected the literature regarding low confidence and inexperience amongst GPs when faced with ophthalmic conditions. Improvements in education are required to ensure accurate assessments
Kilduff, Caroline; Lois, Charis
Up to five percent of primary care consultations are eye-related, yet 96% of General Practitioners (GPs) do not undergo postgraduate ophthalmology training. Most do not feel assured performing eye assessments. Some red eye conditions can become sight threatening, and often exhibit red-flag features. These features include moderate pain, photophobia, reduced visual acuity (VA), eye-trauma, or unilateral marked redness. The aim of this project was to improve primary care assessment and referral of patients presenting with red-flag features based on the NICE ‘Red Eye’ Clinical Knowledge Summary recommendations. Data was collected retrospectively from 139 red eye consultations. A practice meeting highlighted poor awareness of red-flag features, low confidence levels in eye assessments, and time-constraints during appointments. Interventions were based on feedback from staff. These included a primary care teaching session on red-flag features, a VA measurement tutorial, and provision of a red eye toolkit, including VA equipment, to each consultation room. At baseline, each patient had on average 0.9 red-flag features assessed. Only 36.0% (9/25) of patients with red-flag features were appropriately referred to same-day ophthalmology services. Following two improvement cycles, a significant improvement was seen in almost every parameter. On average, each patient had 2.7 red-flag features assessed (vs 0.9, p<0.001). VA was assessed in 55.6% of consultations (vs 7.9%, p<0.001), pain was quantified in 81.5% (vs 20.9%, p=0.005), eye-trauma or foreign-body (51.8% vs 8.6%, p<0.001), extent of redness was documented in 66.7% (vs 14.4%, p<0.001). Only photophobia remained poorly assessed (18.5% vs 14.4%, p=0.75). Following this, 75.0% (6/8) of patients were appropriately referred. This project reflected the literature regarding low confidence and inexperience amongst GPs when faced with ophthalmic conditions. Improvements in education are required to ensure accurate
Novignon, Jacob; Nonvignon, Justice
Health centers in Ghana play an important role in health care delivery especially in deprived communities. They usually serve as the first line of service and meet basic health care needs. Unfortunately, these facilities are faced with inadequate resources. While health policy makers seek to increase resources committed to primary healthcare, it is important to understand the nature of inefficiencies that exist in these facilities. Therefore, the objectives of this study are threefold; (i) estimate efficiency among primary health facilities (health centers), (ii) examine the potential fiscal space from improved efficiency and (iii) investigate the efficiency disparities in public and private facilities. Data was from the 2015 Access Bottlenecks, Cost and Equity (ABCE) project conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. The Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA) was used to estimate efficiency of health facilities. Efficiency scores were then used to compute potential savings from improved efficiency. Outpatient visits was used as output while number of personnel, hospital beds, expenditure on other capital items and administration were used as inputs. Disparities in efficiency between public and private facilities was estimated using the Nopo matching decomposition procedure. Average efficiency score across all health centers included in the sample was estimated to be 0.51. Also, average efficiency was estimated to be about 0.65 and 0.50 for private and public facilities, respectively. Significant disparities in efficiency were identified across the various administrative regions. With regards to potential fiscal space, we found that, on average, facilities could save about GH₵11,450.70 (US$7633.80) if efficiency was improved. We also found that fiscal space from efficiency gains varies across rural/urban as well as private/public facilities, if best practices are followed. The matching decomposition showed an efficiency gap of 0.29 between private
Mussman, Grant M; Vossmeyer, Michael T; Brady, Patrick W; Warrick, Denise M; Simmons, Jeffrey M; White, Christine M
Timely and reliable verbal communication between hospitalists and primary care physicians (PCPs) is critical for prevention of medical adverse events but difficult in practice. Our aim was to increase the proportion of completed verbal handoffs from on-call residents or attendings to PCPs within 24 hours of patient discharge from a hospital medicine service to ≥90% within 18 months. A multidisciplinary team collaborated to redesign the process by which PCPs were contacted following patient discharge. Interventions focused on the key drivers of obtaining stakeholder buy-in, standardization of the communication process, including assigning primary responsibility for discharge communication to a single resident on each team and batching calls during times of maximum resident availability, reliable automated process initiation through leveraging the electronic health record (EHR), and transparency of data. A run chart assessed the impact of interventions over time. The percentage of calls initiated within 24 hours of discharge improved from 52% to 97%, and the percentage of calls completed improved to 93%. Results were sustained for 18 months. Standardization of the communication process through hospital telephone operators, use of the discharge order to ensure initiation of discharge communication, and batching of phone calls were associated with improvements in our measures. Reliable verbal discharge communication can be achieved through the use of a standardized discharge communication process coupled with the EHR. © 2015 Society of Hospital Medicine.
Govender, Indira; Ehrlich, Rodney; Van Vuuren, Unita; De Vries, Elma; Namane, Mosedi; De Sa, Angela; Murie, Katy; Schlemmer, Arina; Govender, Strini; Isaacs, Abdul; Martell, Rob
To determine whether clinical audit improved the performance of diabetic clinical processes in the health district in which it was implemented. Patient folders were systematically sampled annually for review. Primary health-care facilities in the Metro health district of the Western Cape Province in South Africa. Health-care workers involved in diabetes management. Clinical audit and feedback. The Skillings-Mack test was applied to median values of pooled audit results for nine diabetic clinical processes to measure whether there were statistically significant differences between annual audits performed in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Descriptive statistics were used to illustrate the order of values per process. A total of 40 community health centres participated in the baseline audit of 2005 that decreased to 30 in 2009. Except for two routine processes, baseline medians for six out of nine processes were below 50%. Pooled audit results showed statistically significant improvements in seven out of nine clinical processes. The findings indicate an association between the application of clinical audit and quality improvement in resource-limited settings. Co-interventions introduced after the baseline audit are likely to have contributed to improved outcomes. In addition, support from the relevant government health programmes and commitment of managers and frontline staff contributed to the audit's success.
de Jonge, Ank; de Vries, Raymond; Lagro-Janssen, Antoine L. M.; Malata, Address; Declercq, Eugene; Downe, Soo; Hutton, Eileen K.
In most countries, maternal and newborn care is fragmented and focused on identification and treatment of pathology that affects only the minority of women and babies. Recently, a framework for quality maternal and newborn care was developed, which encourages a system-level shift to provide skilled care for all. This care includes preventive and supportive care that works to strengthen women’s capabilities and focuses on promotion of normal reproductive processes while ensuring access to emergency treatment when needed. Midwifery care is pivotal in this framework, which contains several elements that resonate with the main dimensions of primary care. Primary health care is the first level of contact with the health system where most of the population’s curative and preventive health needs can be fulfilled as close as possible to where people live and work. In this paper, we argue that midwifery as described in the framework requires the application of a primary care philosophy for all childbearing women and infants. Evaluation of the implementation of the framework should therefore include tools to monitor the performance of primary midwifery care. PMID:25853136
Campbell, S M; Sheaff, R; Sibbald, B; Marshall, M N; Pickard, S; Gask, L; Halliwell, S; Rogers, A; Roland, M O
To investigate the concept of clinical governance being advocated by primary care groups/trusts (PCG/Ts), approaches being used to implement clinical governance, and potential barriers to its successful implementation in primary care. Qualitative case studies using semi-structured interviews and documentation review. Twelve purposively sampled PCG/Ts in England. Fifty senior staff including chief executives, clinical governance leads, mental health leads, and lay board members. Participants' perceptions of the role of clinical governance in PCG/Ts. PCG/Ts recognise that the successful implementation of clinical governance in general practice will require cultural as well as organisational changes, and the support of practices. They are focusing their energies on supporting practices and getting them involved in quality improvement activities. These activities include, but move beyond, conventional approaches to quality assessment (audit, incentives) to incorporate approaches which emphasise corporate and shared learning. PCG/Ts are also engaged in setting up systems for monitoring quality and for dealing with poor performance. Barriers include structural barriers (weak contractual levers to influence general practices), resource barriers (perceived lack of staff or money), and cultural barriers (suspicion by practice staff or problems overcoming the perceived blame culture associated with quality assessment). PCG/Ts are focusing on setting up systems for implementing clinical governance which seek to emphasise developmental and supportive approaches which will engage health professionals. Progress is intentionally incremental but formidable challenges lie ahead, not least reconciling the dual role of supporting practices while monitoring (and dealing with poor) performance.
Lainer, Miriam; Mann, Eva; Sönnichsen, Andreas
Improving medication safety has become a major topic in all clinical settings. Information technology (IT) can play an important role to prevent adverse drug events (ADEs), but data on the effectiveness of IT interventions are controversial. The objective of this paper is to provide a systematic review about the effects of IT interventions on medication safety in primary care. PubMed, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, EMBASE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, handsearching reference lists from full-text articles. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), if interventions based on IT, performed in primary care and outcomes reported on medication safety. Data extraction Study characteristics and outcome data independently extracted by two reviewers. Disagreement resolved by discussion with a third reviewer. Out of 3918 studies retrieved, 10 RCTs met the inclusion criteria. Of the six studies evaluating computerized provider order entry (CPOE) with clinical decision support (CDS) only 3 studies effectively reduced unsafe prescribing. Both pharmacist-led IT interventions decreased the prescription of potentially inappropriate medication or unsafe prescribing in pregnancy. No reduction of ADEs was achieved by a web program or a TeleWatch system intervention. Only 5 of 10 RCTs revealed a reduction of medication errors. CPOE with CDS was effective if targeted at a limited number of potentially inappropriate medications. The positive results of pharmacist-led IT interventions indicate that IT interventions with inter-professional communication appear to be effective. The unequivocal results of the included RCTs stress the necessity of rigorous evaluation prior to large-scale implementation.
Kroll, David S; Chakravartti, Annie; Gasparrini, Kate; Latham, Carol; Davidson, Paul; Byron-Burke, Martha; Gitlin, David F
Missed appointments decrease clinic capacity and negatively affect health outcomes. The objective of this study was to increase the proportion of filled initial psychiatry appointments in an urban, hospital-based primary care practice. Patients were identified as having a high or low risk of missing their initial psychiatry appointments based on prior missed medical appointments. High-risk patients were referred to a walk-in clinic instead of a scheduled appointment. The primary outcome was ratio of filled appointments to booked appointments. We used a statistical process control chart (p chart) to measure improvement. Secondary outcomes were percentages of patients from historically underserved groups who received an initial psychiatry evaluation before and after the intervention. The average ratio of filled to booked initial appointments increased from 59% to 77% after the intervention, and the p chart confirmed that this change represented special cause variation. No statistically significant demographic differences between the patients who received psychiatric evaluations before and after the intervention were found. Missed initial psychiatry appointments can be accurately predicted by prior missed medical appointments. A referral-based walk-in clinic is feasible and does not reduce access to care for historically underserved patient groups. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Ahmedov, Mohir; Green, Judith; Azimov, Ravshan; Avezova, Guloyim; Inakov, Sherzod; Mamatkulov, Bahrom
Uzbekistan has a well-developed primary care system, with universal access to care, but faces challenges in improving the quality of clinical care provided. This study aimed to identify barriers to quality improvement by focusing on one common condition, Chronic Heart Failure (CHF), for which there are evidence-based international guidelines for management. To identify the challenges to improving the quality of care for CHF in line with such guidelines we took a qualitative approach, interviewing 15 physicians and 30 patients in detail about their experiences of CHF management. Despite recent improvements to the training of primary care physicians, their access to up-to-date information was limited, and they were disproportionately reliant on information from pharmaceutical companies. The main barriers to implementing international standards of care were: reluctance of physicians (and patients) to abandon ineffective interventions; enduring, system-wide incentives for clinically unnecessary hospitalization; and the lack of structural support for evidence-based health services improvement. Patients were in general positive about adherence to medications, but faced some problems in affording drugs and hospital care. Future interventions to strengthen primary care should be implemented with evaluations of their impact on the processes and outcomes of care for chronic conditions.
Moffat, Keith; McNab, Duncan
It is known that the management of chronic gout in relation to serum uric acid (SUA) monitoring, allopurinol dosing, and lifestyle advice is often sub-optimal in primary care. A quality improvement project in the form of a criterion based audit was carried out in an urban general practice to improve the care of patients being treated for gout. Baseline searching of EMIS confirmed that management of patients with gout who were taking allopurinol was not in line with current guidance. 51(40%) had a SUA checked in the past 12 months, 88(25%) had a SUA below target level, and gout lifestyle advice was not being recorded. An audit was performed to measure and improve the following criteria: Monitoring of SUA levels in the past 12 monthsTitration of urate lowering therapy to bring the SUA below target levelLifestyle advice in the past 12 months An audit standard of 60% achievement at 2 months and 80% achievement at 4 months was set. The intervention consisted of a custom electronic template within EMIS which allowed guidance of gout management to be displayed and for data to be entered. All members of the team including GPs and administrative staff were educated regarding the intervention. This resulted in a sustained improvement over a 6 month period in all 3 components of the audit with 112(84%) having a SUA level checked, 79(51%) having a SUA below target level and 76(57%) receiving lifestyle advice. Although the improvement did not reach the audit standard in 2 of the criteria it would be expected that outcomes would continue given the systems changes which have been made.
Reed, Virginia A; Schifferdecker, Karen E; Homa, Karen
Generalists in both the USA and UK have been at the forefront of improving information management skills, defined here as the abilities required to locate and utilise synthesised information for patient care that is accessible, current, relevant and valid. Over the past decade, a variety of interventions designed to improve knowledge and skills relative to information management has been implemented. The goals of training are for learners to demonstrate long-term retention of knowledge and skills gained and to be able to transfer this learning from the context of training into different situations and contexts, such as those encountered in the workplace. Thus, to conclude that learning has taken place, it is essential to study performance after learners have acquired knowledge and skills to see how well those have been retained and generalised. The current study builds on previous work conducted by the authors that described and evaluated an intervention designed to improve information management knowledge, skills and use of Web-based resources by participants from generalist primary care practices. This cross-over study found that both groups of participants--those who received training initially and those who received training later--showed the same improvements when assessed 15 months and three months, respectively, after training. Given the definition of learning as 'relatively permanent', we wondered if these improvements would last. Participants in the original three phases of the study completed questionnaires during each phase; for the current study they were asked to complete a fourth questionnaire administered 27 and 15 months, respectively, after their original training. All variables showed non-significant differences between participants' scores at the end of the original study, where learning was assessed as having occurred, and the current administration of the questionnaire. Demonstrated long-term retention of knowledge and skills and generalisation
Smith, Timothy R; Nicholson, Robert A; Banks, James W
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Mercy Migraine Management Program (MMMP), an educational program for physicians and patients. The primary outcome was change in headache days from baseline at 3, 6, and 12 months. Secondary outcomes were changes in migraine-related disability and quality of life, worry about headaches, self-efficacy for managing migraines, emergency room (ER) visits for headache, and satisfaction with headache care. Despite progress in the understanding of the pathophysiology of migraine and development of effective therapeutic agents, many practitioners and patients continue to lack the knowledge and skills to effectively manage migraine. Educational efforts have been helpful in improving the quality of care and quality of life for migraine sufferers. However, little work has been performed to evaluate these changes over a longer period of time. Also, there is a paucity of published research evaluating the influence of education about migraine management on cognitive and emotional factors (for example, self-efficacy for managing headaches, worry about headaches). In this open-label, prospective study, 284 individuals with migraine (92% female, mean age = 41.6) participated in the MMMP, an educational and skills-based program. Of the 284 who participated in the program, 228 (80%) provided data about their headache frequency, headache-related disability (as measured by the Headache Impact Test-6 (HIT-6), migraine-specific quality of life (MSQ), worry about headaches, self-efficacy for managing headaches, ER visits for headaches, and satisfaction with care at 4 time points over 12 months (baseline, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months). Overall, 46% (106) of subjects reported a 50% or greater reduction in headache frequency. Over 12 months, patients reported fewer headaches and improvement on the HIT-6 and MSQ (all P < .001). The improvement in headache impact and quality of life was greater among those who had more worry
Williams, Nia; Woodward, Helen; Majeed, Azeem; Saxena, Sonia
Objectives To conduct a systematic review of strategies to optimize immunisation uptake within preschool children in developed countries. Design Systematic review. Setting Developed countries Participants Preschool children who were due, or overdue, one or more of their routine primary immunisations. Main outcome measures Increase in the proportion of the target population up to date with standard recommended universal vaccinations. Results Forty-six studies were included for analysis, published between 1980 and 2009. Twenty-six studies were randomized controlled trials, 11 were before and after trials, and nine were controlled intervention trials. Parental reminders showed a statistically significant increase in immunisation rates in 34% of included intervention arms. These effects were reported with both generic and specific reminders and with all methods of reminders and recall. Strategies aimed at immunisation providers were also shown to improve immunisation rates with a median change in immunisation rates of 7% when reminders were used, 8% when educational programmes were used and 19% when feedback programmes were used. Conclusion General practitioners are uniquely positioned to influence parental decisions on childhood immunisation. A variety of strategies studied in primary care settings have been shown to improve immunisation rates, including parental and healthcare provider reminders. PMID:22046500
Meehan, Thomas P; Van Hoof, Thomas J; Galusha, Deron; Barr, Judith K; Curry, Maureen; Kelvey-Albert, Michele; Meehan, Thomas P
The objectives of this study were the following: (1) describe one organization's experience with recruiting minority-serving private practice primary care physicians to an ambulatory quality improvement (QI) project; (2) compare and contrast physicians who agreed to participate with those who declined; and (3) list incentives and barriers to participation. The authors identified eligible physicians by analyzing Medicare Part B claims data, a publicly available physician database, and office staff responses to telephone inquiries. The recruitment team had difficulty identifying, contacting, and recruiting eligible physicians. Solo practitioners and physicians who had lower scores on certain quality measures were more likely to participate. Barriers to participation were similar in all practices and included concerns about extra work, difficulty of change, and impact on office work flow. Commonly used incentives were offered but were not universally embraced. Additional work is required to refine the process of physician recruitment and to find more compelling incentives for QI.
The purpose of this study was to describe the development, implementation, and evaluation of an educational program in family medicine for general practitioners in Saudi Arabia from 2009 to 2011. A continuing medical education program called Family Medicine Education (FAME) was developed with 7 modules each consisting of 12-14 hours of teaching to be delivered in 3 day blocks, over 45 days. Twenty percent (2,761) of all general practitioners participated in the FAME program. Initial assessment of the program showed significant improvement of knowledge from scores of 49% on a pre-test to 89% on post-tests. FAME program in Saudi Arabia facilitated primary care physicians’ knowledge. PMID:24250833
Nicholas, D D; Heiby, J R; Hatzell, T A
Persistently excessive morbidity and mortality rates in less developed countries (LDCs) served by primary health care systems suggest that the quality of services is inadequate. The PRICOR project, sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development, has designed and implemented methods for quality assessment and problem solving in LDC health systems. After developing comprehensive lists of essential activities and tasks, similar to practice parameters, for seven child survival interventions, PRICOR supported comprehensive quality assessment studies in twelve LDC countries. The studies, yielding over 6000 observations of health worker-client encounters, indicated highly prevalent, serious program deficiencies in areas including diagnosis, treatment, patient education and supervision. To facilitate corrective action, PRICOR assisted managers in conducting operations research to resolve priority problems revealed by the assessments. The recently initiated Quality Assurance Project is building on PRICOR techniques in designing and implementing sustainable continuous quality improvement programs for LDC health systems.
Kislov, Roman; Walshe, Kieran; Harvey, Gill
Effective implementation of change in healthcare organisations involves multiple professional and organisational groups and is often impeded by professional and organisational boundaries that present relatively impermeable barriers to sharing knowledge and spreading work practices. Informed by the theory of communities of practice (CoPs), this study explored the effects of intra-organisational and inter-organisational boundaries on the implementation of service improvement within and across primary healthcare settings and on the development of multiprofessional and multi-organisational CoPs during this process. The study was conducted within the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for Greater Manchester-a collaborative partnership between the University of Manchester and local National Health Service organisations aiming to undertake applied health research and enhance its implementation in clinical practice. It deployed a qualitative embedded case study design, encompassing semistructured interviews, direct observation and documentary analysis, conducted in 2010-2011. The sample included practice doctors, nurses, managers and members of the CLAHRC implementation team. The study showed that in spite of epistemic and status differences, professional boundaries between general practitioners, practice nurses and practice managers co-located in the same practice over a relatively long period of time could be successfully bridged, leading to the formation of multiprofessional CoPs. While knowledge circulated relatively easily within these CoPs, barriers to knowledge sharing emerged at the boundary separating them from other groups existing in the same primary care setting. The strongest boundaries, however, lay between individual general practices, with inter-organisational knowledge sharing and collaboration between them remaining unequally developed across different areas due to historical factors, competition and strong
Background Effective implementation of change in healthcare organisations involves multiple professional and organisational groups and is often impeded by professional and organisational boundaries that present relatively impermeable barriers to sharing knowledge and spreading work practices. Informed by the theory of communities of practice (CoPs), this study explored the effects of intra-organisational and inter-organisational boundaries on the implementation of service improvement within and across primary healthcare settings and on the development of multiprofessional and multi-organisational CoPs during this process. Methods The study was conducted within the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for Greater Manchester—a collaborative partnership between the University of Manchester and local National Health Service organisations aiming to undertake applied health research and enhance its implementation in clinical practice. It deployed a qualitative embedded case study design, encompassing semistructured interviews, direct observation and documentary analysis, conducted in 2010–2011. The sample included practice doctors, nurses, managers and members of the CLAHRC implementation team. Findings The study showed that in spite of epistemic and status differences, professional boundaries between general practitioners, practice nurses and practice managers co-located in the same practice over a relatively long period of time could be successfully bridged, leading to the formation of multiprofessional CoPs. While knowledge circulated relatively easily within these CoPs, barriers to knowledge sharing emerged at the boundary separating them from other groups existing in the same primary care setting. The strongest boundaries, however, lay between individual general practices, with inter-organisational knowledge sharing and collaboration between them remaining unequally developed across different areas due to historical factors
Helfrich, Christian D; Dolan, Emily D; Fihn, Stephan D; Rodriguez, Hector P; Meredith, Lisa S; Rosland, Ann-Marie; Lempa, Michele; Wakefield, Bonnie J; Joos, Sandra; Lawler, Lauren H; Harvey, Henry B; Stark, Richard; Schectman, Gordon; Nelson, Karin M
Team-based care is central to the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), but most PCMH evaluations measure team structure exclusively. We assessed team-based care in terms of team structure, process and effectiveness, and the association with improvements in teams׳ abilities to deliver patient-centered care. We fielded a cross-sectional survey among 913 VA primary care clinics implementing a PCMH model in 2012. The dependent variable was clinic-level respondent-reported improvements in delivery of patient-centered care. Independent variables included three sets of measures: (1) team structure, (2) team process, and (3) team effectiveness. We adjusted for clinic workload and patient comorbidity. 4819 surveys were returned (25% estimated response rate). The highest ratings were for team structure (median of 89% of respondents being assigned to a teamlet, i.e., a PCP working with the same clinical associate, nurse care manager and clerk) and lowest for team process (median of 10% of respondents reporting the lowest level of stress/chaos). In multivariable regression, perceived improvements in patient-centered care were most strongly associated with participatory decision making (β=32, P<0.0001) and history of change in the clinic (β=18, P=0008) (both team processes). A stressful/chaotic clinic environment was associated with higher barriers to patient centered care (β=0.16-0.34, P=<0.0001), and lower improvements in patient-centered care (β=-0.19, P=0.001). Team process and effectiveness measures, often omitted from PCMH evaluations, had stronger associations with perceived improvements in patient-centered care than team structure measures. Team process and effectiveness measures may facilitate synthesis of evaluation findings and help identify positive outlier clinics. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Mulvale, Gillian; Embrett, Mark; Razavi, Shaghayegh Donya
Interprofessional Primary Care Teams (IPCTs) have been shown to benefit health systems and patients, particularly those patients with complex care needs. The literature suggests a wide range of factors that may influence collaboration in IPCTs, however the evidence base is unclear for many of these factors. To target improvement efforts, we identify studies that demonstrate an association between suggested factors and collaborative processes in IPCTs. A systematic review of 25 years of peer-review literature was conducted to identify studies that test associations between policy, organizational, care team and individual factors, and collaboration in IPCTs. We searched Medline, ProQuest subject, ProQuest abstract, CINAHL, HealthSTAR, and Embase electronic databases between January 1990 to June 2015 and hand-searched reference lists of identified articles. The electronic searches identified 1421 articles, nine of which met inclusion criteria. Eighteen factors were significantly associated with collaboration in at least one article. We present the findings within a proposed conceptual model of interrelated 'gears'. The model offers a taxonomy of factors that policy makers (macro gear), organizational managers (meso gear), care teams (micro gear) and health professionals (individual gear) can adjust to improve interprofessional collaboration in IPC teams. Thirteen of the eighteen identified factors were within the micro gear, or team level of decision-making. These pertained to formal processes such as quality audits and group problem-solving; social processes such as open communication and supportive colleagues; team attitudes such as feeling part of the team; and team structure such as team size and having a collaboration champion or facilitator. Fewer policy (eg governance), organizational (eg information systems, organizational culture) or individual (eg belief in interprofessional collaboration care and personal flexibility) level factors were identified. The
Armstrong, Natalie; Herbert, Georgia; Brewster, Liz
Context is important in implementation-we know that what works in one setting may not work in the same way elsewhere. Primary care has been described as a unique context both in relation to the care delivered and efforts to carry out research and implementation of new evidence. To explore some of the distinctive features of the primary care environment that may influence implementation. We conducted an ethnographic study involving observations, interviews and documentary analysis of the ENABLE-CKD project, which involved general practices implementing a chronic kidney disease care bundle and offering self-management support tools to patients. Analysis was based on the constant comparative method. Four elements of the primary care environment emerged as important influences on the extent to which implementation was successful. First, the nature of delivering care in this setting meant that prioritizing one condition over others was problematic. Second, the lack of alignment with financial and other incentives affected engagement. Third, the project team lacked mechanisms through which engagement could be mandated. Fourth, working relationships within practices impacted on engagement. Those seeking to implement interventions in primary care need to consider the particular context if they are to secure successful implementation. We suggest that there are particular kinds of interventions, which may be best suited to the primary care context. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.
Armstrong, Natalie; Herbert, Georgia; Brewster, Liz
Background. Context is important in implementation—we know that what works in one setting may not work in the same way elsewhere. Primary care has been described as a unique context both in relation to the care delivered and efforts to carry out research and implementation of new evidence. Objective. To explore some of the distinctive features of the primary care environment that may influence implementation. Methods. We conducted an ethnographic study involving observations, interviews and documentary analysis of the ENABLE-CKD project, which involved general practices implementing a chronic kidney disease care bundle and offering self-management support tools to patients. Analysis was based on the constant comparative method. Results. Four elements of the primary care environment emerged as important influences on the extent to which implementation was successful. First, the nature of delivering care in this setting meant that prioritizing one condition over others was problematic. Second, the lack of alignment with financial and other incentives affected engagement. Third, the project team lacked mechanisms through which engagement could be mandated. Fourth, working relationships within practices impacted on engagement. Conclusions. Those seeking to implement interventions in primary care need to consider the particular context if they are to secure successful implementation. We suggest that there are particular kinds of interventions, which may be best suited to the primary care context. PMID:27297465
Belgium is an attractive country to work in, not just for doctors but for all Spanish workers, due to it having the headquarters of European Union. The health job allure is double; on the one hand, the opportunity to find a decent job, and on the other, because it is possible to develop their professional abilities with patients of the same nationality in a health system with a different way of working. The Belgium health care system is based on security social models. Health care is financed by the government, social security contributions, and voluntary private health insurance. Primary care in Belgium is very different to that in Spain. Citizens may freely choose their doctor (general practitioner or specialist) increasing the lack of coordination between primary and specialized care. This leads to serious patient safety problems and loss of efficiency within the system. Belgium is a European country with room to improve preventive coverage. General practitioners are self-employed professionals with free choice of setting, and their salary is linked to their professional activity. Ambulatory care is subjected to co-payment, and this fact leads to great inequities on access to care. The statistics say that there is universal coverage but, in 2010, 14% of the population did not seek medical contact due to economic problems. It takes 3 years to become a General Practitioner and continuing medical education is compulsory to be revalidated. In general, Belgian and Spaniards living and working in Belgium are happy with the functioning of the health care system. However, as doctors, we should be aware that it is a health care system in which access is constrained for some people, and preventive coverage could be improved. Copyright © 2016 Sociedad Española de Médicos de Atención Primaria (SEMERGEN). Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.
Kumar, G; Quigley, J; Singh, M; Keeping, S; Pitman, R; Carroll, S
This paper aims to examine the role of local enhanced services (LES) as a financial incentive in improving clinical and process outcomes in primary care with a view to discussing their future in light of the Health and Social Care Act. A literature review was conducted to identify LES commissioned in the UK in any disease area and to evaluate common themes relating to their impact on outcomes. The literature review consisted of two stages: an initial reference database search (MEDLINE, MEDLINE IN-PROCESS and EMBASE) and a more general internet search. The internet search used free text augmented by a targeted search of key health organisations' websites. Data were extracted from the LES to provide information on the background and context of the LES before going on to describe the incentive structure, health and economic outcomes and limitations of the LES. Although a number of LES were identified in the online search, only 14 reported any data on outcomes. These LES programmes related to 10 different disease areas, with cancer, alcohol dependence and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) being the most common health needs. Three common factors between the selected LES emerged that appear to influence the extent of the impact on local health or economic outcomes: (1) a national framework supporting the LES, (2) existing service provision, and (3) the size of the financial incentives. The common themes emerging from the literature review suggest that, following the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and newly established national standards, given sufficient attention to planning service specifications, LES could continue to be important in reducing health inequalities and preparing poorly performing general practices for longer term changes directed at improving outcomes and standards in healthcare.
Smith, Susan M; Wallace, Emma; O'Dowd, Tom; Fortin, Martin
Many people with chronic disease have more than one chronic condition, which is referred to as multimorbidity. The term comorbidity is also used but this is now taken to mean that there is a defined index condition with other linked conditions, for example diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It is also used when there are combinations of defined conditions that commonly co-exist, for example diabetes and depression. While this is not a new phenomenon, there is greater recognition of its impact and the importance of improving outcomes for individuals affected. Research in the area to date has focused mainly on descriptive epidemiology and impact assessment. There has been limited exploration of the effectiveness of interventions to improve outcomes for people with multimorbidity. To determine the effectiveness of health-service or patient-oriented interventions designed to improve outcomes in people with multimorbidity in primary care and community settings. Multimorbidity was defined as two or more chronic conditions in the same individual. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and seven other databases to 28 September 2015. We also searched grey literature and consulted experts in the field for completed or ongoing studies. Two review authors independently screened and selected studies for inclusion. We considered randomised controlled trials (RCTs), non-randomised clinical trials (NRCTs), controlled before-after studies (CBAs), and interrupted time series analyses (ITS) evaluating interventions to improve outcomes for people with multimorbidity in primary care and community settings. Multimorbidity was defined as two or more chronic conditions in the same individual. This includes studies where participants can have combinations of any condition or have combinations of pre-specified common conditions (comorbidity), for example, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. The comparison was usual care as delivered in that setting. Two review authors independently
This paper will discuss why nephrology teams should collaborate with primary care teams in delaying the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD), and explain how they can collaborate to improve the outcomes for patients who eventually need dialysis. The paper will describe the staging of CKD and will discuss evidence-based guidelines for the management of CKD in the community. Practical examples of how a specialist renal nurse can improve communication with primary care and can improve the outcome of patients with early kidney disease will be described.
Brunner, Julian; Chuang, Emmeline; Goldzweig, Caroline; Cain, Cindy L; Sugar, Catherine; Yano, Elizabeth M
A growing literature has demonstrated the ability of user-centered design to make clinical decision support systems more effective and easier to use. However, studies of user-centered design have rarely examined more than a handful of sites at a time, and have frequently neglected the implementation climate and organizational resources that influence clinical decision support. The inclusion of such factors was identified by a systematic review as "the most important improvement that can be made in health IT evaluations." (1) Identify the prevalence of four user-centered design practices at United States Veterans Affairs (VA) primary care clinics and assess the perceived utility of clinical decision support at those clinics; (2) Evaluate the association between those user-centered design practices and the perceived utility of clinical decision support. We analyzed clinic-level survey data collected in 2006-2007 from 170 VA primary care clinics. We examined four user-centered design practices: 1) pilot testing, 2) provider satisfaction assessment, 3) formal usability assessment, and 4) analysis of impact on performance improvement. We used a regression model to evaluate the association between user-centered design practices and the perceived utility of clinical decision support, while accounting for other important factors at those clinics, including implementation climate, available resources, and structural characteristics. We also examined associations separately at community-based clinics and at hospital-based clinics. User-centered design practices for clinical decision support varied across clinics: 74% conducted pilot testing, 62% conducted provider satisfaction assessment, 36% conducted a formal usability assessment, and 79% conducted an analysis of impact on performance improvement. Overall perceived utility of clinical decision support was high, with a mean rating of 4.17 (±.67) out of 5 on a composite measure. "Analysis of impact on performance
Willemse, Juliana J
The global use of mobile devices with their connectivity capacity, and integrated with the affordances of social media networks, provides a resource-rich platform for innovative student-directed learning experiences. The objective of this study was to review the experiences of undergraduate nurses on the improvement of primary health care education at a School of Nursing at a University in the Western Cape, South Africa, through the incorporation of a social media application, WhatsApp. A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive, and contextual design was used to explore and describe data collected from a purposive sample of 21 undergraduate nursing students. The study population was engaged in a WhatsApp discussion group to enhance their integration of theory and clinical practice of the health assessment competency of the Primary Health Care Module. Participants submitted electronic reflections on their experiences in the WhatsApp discussion group via email on completion of the study. Thematic analysis of the qualitative data collected was done according to Tesch's (1990) steps of descriptive data analysis in order to identify the major themes in the study. The electronic reflections were analysed to explore their rich, reflective data. Seven themes were identified that included: positive experiences using the WhatsApp group; the usefulness of WhatsApp for integrating theory and clinical practice; the availability of resources for test preparation; opportunity for clarification; anonymity; exclusion of students as a result of the lack of an appropriate device, and the application caused the battery of the device to run flat quickly. The results of the experiences of students in the WhatsApp discussion group could be used to inform the use of social media applications in teaching and learning, with the purpose of enhancing the integration of the theory and clinical practice.
Mastellos, Nikolaos; Bliźniuk, Grzegorz; Czopnik, Dorota; McGilchrist, Mark; Misiaszek, Andrzej; Bródka, Piotr; Curcin, Vasa; Car, Josip; Delaney, Brendan C; Andreasson, Anna
Recruitment of study participants is a challenging process for health professionals and patients. The Translational Medicine and Patient Safety in Europe (TRANSFoRm) clinical trial tools enable automated identification, recruitment and follow-up in clinical trials, potentially saving time, effort and costs for all parties involved. This study evaluates the acceptability and feasibility of TRANSFoRm to improve clinical trial recruitment in primary care. A feasibility study was conducted in three general practices in Poland. Participants were physicians and patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Semi-structured interviews were held to obtain feedback about the usefulness, ease of use and overall experience with the TRANSFoRm tools and to identify potential usability issues. Data were analysed thematically. A total of 5 physicians and 10 patients participated in the study. Physicians were satisfied with the usefulness of the system, as it enabled easier and faster identification, recruitment and follow-up of patients compared with existing methods. Patients found the TRANSFoRm apps easy to use to report patient outcomes. However, they also felt that the apps may not be useful for patients with limited exposure to smartphone and web technologies. Two main usability issues were identified: physicians could not access the result of the randomization at the end of each visit, and participants could not locate the follow-up reminder email. This study provides new evidence on the acceptability and feasibility of TRANSFoRm to enable automated identification, recruitment and follow-up of study participants in primary care trials. It also helps to better understand and address users' requirements in eHealth-supported clinical research. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bujalance-Zafra, María José; Domínguez-Santaella, Miguel; Baca-Osorio, Antonio; Ginel-Mendoza, Leovigildo; Fernández-Vargas, Francisco Jesús; Poyato-Ramos, Rafael
To examine the impact of an intervention by Primary Care (PC) professionals of a Health District on the clinical outcomes for treating COPD exacerbations using a process and outcome indicators analysis (clinical audit). Observational, retrospective and prospective analysis cross-sectional audit of clinical practice SETTING: Malaga-Guadalhorce Sanitary District (DSMG). Patients with COPD exacerbations treated by the extra-hospital emergency services (n=523; 21% losses). Professional training in the usual clinical practice and inclusion of process indicators of COPD targets in relation to incentives. Comparison of external audit results (process and outcomes variables) from medical records and Health Outcomes (exacerbations, admissions). Variable response: Difference in exacerbations and admissions in 2 periods analysed. Bivariate and multivariate analysis. Mean age was 75 (±9.3), 63.7% males with a BMI of 29.4 (±7.1), and 21% active smokers. Mean FEV1, 48.2% (±18.7). Mean exacerbations in the first period, 2.86 (±2.29) and in the second 1.36 (±1.56) (P<.001). Mean hospital admissions in the first and second period, 0.56 (±0.94) and 0.31 (±0.66) (P<.001), respectively. The decrease in the number of exacerbations was directly associated with having ≥2 exacerbations in the first period, reviewed in Primary Care, and inversely with heart failure and with having ≥2 exacerbations in the second period (R2=0.28; P<.001) CONCLUSIONS: The number of exacerbations and admissions decreased significantly in both periods assessed. However, the evaluated process indicators did not improve. Prospective intervention studies are necessary to establish the possible causal relationship. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.
Campbell, S; Sheaff, R; Sibbald, B; Marshall, M; Pickard, S; Gask, L; Halliwell, S; Rogers, A; Roland, M
Objectives: To investigate the concept of clinical governance being advocated by primary care groups/trusts (PCG/Ts), approaches being used to implement clinical governance, and potential barriers to its successful implementation in primary care. Design: Qualitative case studies using semi-structured interviews and documentation review. Setting: Twelve purposively sampled PCG/Ts in England. Participants: Fifty senior staff including chief executives, clinical governance leads, mental health leads, and lay board members. Main outcome measures: Participants' perceptions of the role of clinical governance in PCG/Ts. Results: PCG/Ts recognise that the successful implementation of clinical governance in general practice will require cultural as well as organisational changes, and the support of practices. They are focusing their energies on supporting practices and getting them involved in quality improvement activities. These activities include, but move beyond, conventional approaches to quality assessment (audit, incentives) to incorporate approaches which emphasise corporate and shared learning. PCG/Ts are also engaged in setting up systems for monitoring quality and for dealing with poor performance. Barriers include structural barriers (weak contractual levers to influence general practices), resource barriers (perceived lack of staff or money), and cultural barriers (suspicion by practice staff or problems overcoming the perceived blame culture associated with quality assessment). Conclusion: PCG/Ts are focusing on setting up systems for implementing clinical governance which seek to emphasise developmental and supportive approaches which will engage health professionals. Progress is intentionally incremental but formidable challenges lie ahead, not least reconciling the dual role of supporting practices while monitoring (and dealing with poor) performance. PMID:12078380
Finkelstein, Jonathan A; Lozano, Paula; Fuhlbrigge, Anne L; Carey, Vincent J; Inui, Thomas S; Soumerai, Stephen B; Sullivan, Sean D; Wagner, Edward H; Weiss, Scott T; Weiss, Kevin B
Objective To assess the practice-level effects of (1) a physician peer leader intervention and (2) peer leaders in combination with the introduction of asthma education nurses to facilitate care improvement. And, to compare findings with previously reported patient-level outcomes of trial enrollees. Study Setting Data were included on children 5–17 years old with asthma in 40 primary care practices, affiliated with managed health care plans enrolled in the Pediatric Asthma Care Patient Outcomes Research Team (PORT) randomized trial. Study Design Primary care practices were randomly assigned to one of two care improvement arms or to usual care. Automated claims data were analyzed for 12-month periods using a repeated cross-sectional design. The primary outcome was evidence of at least one controller medication dispensed among patients with persistent asthma. Secondary outcomes included controller dispensing among all identified asthmatics, evidence of chronic controller use, and the dispensing of oral steroids. Health service utilization outcomes included numbers of ambulatory visits and hospital-based events. Principal Findings The proportion of children with persistent asthma prescribed controllers increased in all study arms. No effect of the interventions on the proportion receiving controllers was detected (peer leader intervention effect 0.01, 95 percent confidence interval [CI]: −0.07, 0.08; planned care intervention effect −0.03, 95 percent CI: −0.09, 0.02). A statistical trend was seen toward an increased number of oral corticosteroid bursts dispensed in intervention practices. Significant adjusted increases in ambulatory visits of 0.08–0.10 visits per child per year were seen in the first intervention year, but only a statistical trend in these outcomes persisted into the second year of follow-up. No differences in hospital-based events were detected. Conclusions This analysis showed a slight increase in ambulatory asthma visits as a result of
The provision of care for patients with type II diabetes in primary care must involve assessing patients for peripheral neuropathy of the feet. Objectives. This paper will demonstrate that painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN) is poorly assessed for and treated in primary care. Methods. A critical analysis of research will be conducted to identify the prevalence and impact of PDN among individuals with type II diabetes. Results. Research evidence and best practice guidelines are widely available in supporting primary care practitioners to better assess for and treat PDN. However, the lack of knowledge, awareness, and implementation of such research and guidelines prevents patients with PDN from receiving appropriate care. Discussion. Much international research exists on the prevalence and impact of PDN in primary care; however, Canadian research is lacking. Furthermore, the quantity and quality of research on treatment modalities for PDN are inadequate. Finally, current research and guidelines on PDN management are inadequately implemented in the clinical setting. Conclusion. The undertreatment of PDN has significant implications on the individual, family, and society. Healthcare practitioners must be more aware of and better implement current research and guidelines into practice to resolve this clinical issue. PMID:27445600
The provision of care for patients with type II diabetes in primary care must involve assessing patients for peripheral neuropathy of the feet. Objectives. This paper will demonstrate that painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN) is poorly assessed for and treated in primary care. Methods. A critical analysis of research will be conducted to identify the prevalence and impact of PDN among individuals with type II diabetes. Results. Research evidence and best practice guidelines are widely available in supporting primary care practitioners to better assess for and treat PDN. However, the lack of knowledge, awareness, and implementation of such research and guidelines prevents patients with PDN from receiving appropriate care. Discussion. Much international research exists on the prevalence and impact of PDN in primary care; however, Canadian research is lacking. Furthermore, the quantity and quality of research on treatment modalities for PDN are inadequate. Finally, current research and guidelines on PDN management are inadequately implemented in the clinical setting. Conclusion. The undertreatment of PDN has significant implications on the individual, family, and society. Healthcare practitioners must be more aware of and better implement current research and guidelines into practice to resolve this clinical issue.
Reiter, Kristin L; Halladay, Jacqueline R; Mitchell, C Madeline; Ward, Kimberly; Lee, Shoou-Yih D; Steiner, Beat; Donahue, Katrina E
Primary care organizations must transform care delivery to realize the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Triple Aim of better healthcare, better health, and lower healthcare costs. However, few studies have considered the financial implications for primary care practices engaged in transformation. In this qualitative, comparative case study, we examine the practice-level personnel and nonpersonnel costs and the benefits involved in transformational change among 12 primary care practices participating in North Carolina's Improving Performance in Practice (IPIP) program. We found average annual opportunity costs of $21,550 ($6,659 per full-time equivalent provider) for maintaining core IPIP activities (e.g., data management, form development and maintenance, meeting attendance). This average represents the cost of a 50% full-time equivalent registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. Practices were able to limit transformation costs by scheduling meetings during relatively slow patient care periods and by leveraging resources such as the assistance of IPIP practice coaches. Still, the costs of practice transformation were not trivial and would have been much higher in the absence of these efforts. Benefits of transformation included opportunities for enhanced revenue through reimbursement incentives and practice growth, improved efficiency and care quality, and maintenance of certification. Given the potentially high costs for some practices, policy makers may need to consider reimbursement and other strategies to help primary care practices manage the costs of practice redesign.
Stockdale, Susan E; Zuchowski, Jessica; Rubenstein, Lisa V; Sapir, Negar; Yano, Elizabeth M; Altman, Lisa; Fickel, Jacqueline J; McDougall, Skye; Dresselhaus, Timothy; Hamilton, Alison B
Although the patient-centered medical home endorses quality improvement principles, methods for supporting ongoing, systematic primary care quality improvement have not been evaluated. We introduced primary care quality councils at six Veterans Health Administration sites as an organizational intervention with three key design elements: (a) fostering interdisciplinary quality improvement leadership, (b) establishing a structured quality improvement process, and (c) facilitating organizationally aligned frontline quality improvement innovation. Our evaluation objectives were to (a) assess design element implementation, (b) describe implementation barriers and facilitators, and (c) assess successful quality improvement project completion and spread. We analyzed administrative records and conducted interviews with 85 organizational leaders. We developed and applied criteria for assessing design element implementation using hybrid deductive/inductive analytic techniques. All quality councils implemented interdisciplinary leadership and a structured quality improvement process, and all but one completed at least one quality improvement project and a toolkit for spreading improvements. Quality councils were perceived as most effective when service line leaders had well-functioning interdisciplinary communication. Matching positions within leadership hierarchies with appropriate supportive roles facilitated frontline quality improvement efforts. Two key resources were (a) a dedicated internal facilitator with project management, data collection, and presentation skills and (b) support for preparing customized data reports for identifying and addressing practice level quality issues. Overall, quality councils successfully cultivated interdisciplinary, multilevel primary care quality improvement leadership with accountability mechanisms and generated frontline innovations suitable for spread. Practice level performance data and quality improvement project management support
Alper, Philip R.
Given the chorus of approval for primary care emanating from every party to the health reform debate, one might suppose that the future for primary physicians is bright. Yet this is far from certain. And when one looks to history and recognizes that primary care medicine has failed virtually every conceivable market test in recent years, its…
Berkowitz, Seth A; Hulberg, A Catherine; Hong, Clemens; Stowell, Brian J; Tirozzi, Karen J; Traore, Carine Y; Atlas, Steven J
Unmet basic resource needs, such as difficulty affording healthcare, medications, food and housing, may contribute to worse healthcare quality indicators, but interventions are hampered by lack of specific knowledge regarding the distribution of unmet basic resource needs and their association with priority clinical conditions and health service use patterns. Cross-sectional study of primary care patients in two urban academic practices from 1 October 2013 to 30 April 2014. Patients were screened for unmet needs and enrolled in a programme to link them with community resources. Key measures included patient report of unmet basic resource needs, clinical conditions prioritised by quality improvement programmes (hypertension, diabetes and depression), and health service use patterns such as frequent emergency department (ED) visits (>2 in the preceding year) and frequent clinic 'no-shows' (>1 in the preceding year). 416 patients with unmet needs were included, and compared with 2750 patients who did not report needs. The most common types of needs reported were: difficulties affording healthcare (46.5%), food (40.1%) and utilities (36.3%). Patients who reported unmet needs were more likely to have depression (17.8% vs 9.5%, p<0.0001), diabetes (32.7% vs 20.4%, p<0.0001), hypertension (54.3% vs 46.3%, p=0.002), be frequent ED users (11.3% vs 5.4%, p<0.0001), and have frequent 'no-shows' to clinic (21.6% vs 11.9%, p<0.0001). Difficulty affording healthcare and food are particularly common needs among patients with priority conditions. Strategies to identify and address unmet needs as part of routine care may be an important way to improve healthcare quality. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/
Bilardi, Jade E; Hopkins, Carol A; Fairley, Christopher K; Hocking, Jane S; Tomnay, Jane E; Pavlin, Natasha L; Parker, Rhian M; Temple-Smith, Meredith J; Bowden, Francis J; Russell, Darren B; Pitts, Marian; Chen, Marcus Y
To examine practices of general practitioners' (GPs) in relation to partner notification for chlamydia and identify the supports they would find most useful to assist them. To identify innovative resources that could improve partner notification for chlamydia in primary care. A postal survey was undertaken that involved GPs from several jurisdictions across Australia between August and December 2007. GPs were randomly selected from a national database. Of 521 eligible GPs, 234 (45%) returned a completed questionnaire. Ninety-five percent (n = 223) felt that it was their role to discuss partner notification with patients diagnosed with chlamydia; however, only 45% (105/232) were sure how best to assist their patients with this. Considerable variation was shown in the way partner notification was undertaken, including how far back in time GPs recommended contacting partners. GPs considered a wide range of possible resources useful, including a website supporting patients (90%), information sheets generated by practice software when chlamydia is diagnosed (90%), printed information packs for patients (85%), a website designed to assist GPs (80%), and referral to these websites via positive laboratory results (85%). Forty-three percent currently undertook patient delivered partner therapy for chlamydia. GPs want and need greater guidance and resources to assist them with partner notification for chlamydia. Resources utilizing the internet and practice software and mechanisms where GPs are automatically directed to these when chlamydia is diagnosed have wide appeal and the potential to improve the effectiveness of partner notification for chlamydia.
Pickhardt, Perry J.; Schumacher, Jessica R.; Potvien, Aaron; Kim, David H.; Pfau, Patrick R.; Jacobs, Elizabeth A.; Smith, Maureen A.
Aims. Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening is underutilized. Increasing CRC screening rates requires interventions targeting multiple barriers at each level of the healthcare organization (patient, provider, and system). We examined groups of primary care providers (PCPs) based on perceptions of screening barriers and the relationship to CRC screening rates to inform approaches for conducting barrier assessments prior to designing and implementing quality improvement interventions. Methods. We conducted a retrospective cohort study linking EHR and survey data. PCPs with complete survey responses for questions addressing CRC screening barriers were included (N = 166 PCPs; 39,430 patients eligible for CRC screening). Cluster analysis identified groups of PCPs. Multivariate logistic regression estimated odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for predictors of membership in one of the PCP groups. Results. We found two distinct groups: (1) PCPs identifying multiple barriers to CRC screening at patient, provider, and system levels (N = 75) and (2) PCPs identifying no major barriers to screening (N = 91). PCPs in the top half of CRC screening performance were more likely to identify multiple barriers than the bottom performers (OR, 4.14; 95% CI, 2.43–7.08). Conclusions. High-performing PCPs can more effectively identify CRC screening barriers. Targeting high-performers when conducting a barrier assessment is a novel approach to assist in designing quality improvement interventions for CRC screening. PMID:28163715
Weiss, Jennifer M; Pickhardt, Perry J; Schumacher, Jessica R; Potvien, Aaron; Kim, David H; Pfau, Patrick R; Jacobs, Elizabeth A; Smith, Maureen A
Aims. Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening is underutilized. Increasing CRC screening rates requires interventions targeting multiple barriers at each level of the healthcare organization (patient, provider, and system). We examined groups of primary care providers (PCPs) based on perceptions of screening barriers and the relationship to CRC screening rates to inform approaches for conducting barrier assessments prior to designing and implementing quality improvement interventions. Methods. We conducted a retrospective cohort study linking EHR and survey data. PCPs with complete survey responses for questions addressing CRC screening barriers were included (N = 166 PCPs; 39,430 patients eligible for CRC screening). Cluster analysis identified groups of PCPs. Multivariate logistic regression estimated odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for predictors of membership in one of the PCP groups. Results. We found two distinct groups: (1) PCPs identifying multiple barriers to CRC screening at patient, provider, and system levels (N = 75) and (2) PCPs identifying no major barriers to screening (N = 91). PCPs in the top half of CRC screening performance were more likely to identify multiple barriers than the bottom performers (OR, 4.14; 95% CI, 2.43-7.08). Conclusions. High-performing PCPs can more effectively identify CRC screening barriers. Targeting high-performers when conducting a barrier assessment is a novel approach to assist in designing quality improvement interventions for CRC screening.
Czabanowska, Katarzyna; Burazeri, Genc; Klemenc-Ketis, Zalika; Kijowska, Violetta; Tomasik, Tomasz; Brand, Helmut
Nowadays, general practitioners (GPs) and family doctors (FDs) face increasing demands, as a consequence of complex patients' expectations, developments in science and technology, and limitations within healthcare systems which can result in competency gaps. Therefore, there is a need to identify which competencies in quality improvement (QI) are most important for GPs and FDs to possess in order to meet the demands of contemporary health care practice. To date, however, little information is available on the self-assessment of competencies related to QI among GPs and FDs. To deal with these issues, a project on QI in continuous medical education was launched in 2011. The project aims to broaden the GPs'/ FDs' continuous education offer, its quality and attractiveness, as well as provide them with opportunities for vocational advancement and enable the development of common, European frame of reference for GPs'/FDs' occupational competencies. The third work package of the project consists of the validation research of the questionnaire developed on the basis of the competency framework in QI for GPs/FDs in Europe. A cross-sectional study will be carried out using the self-assessment QI questionnaire which was originally developed in English and subsequently it was cross-culturally adapted in Slovenian, Albanian and Polish settings by use of a pilot study on a conveniently selected group of FDs/GPs (N=10) in each participating country. The final version of the questionnaire will be administered to large samples in each country involved in the survey. Two weeks after the first administration of the questionnaire, a second round, with the same procedure and including the same group of respondents, will follow. Psychometric tests will be conducted including internal consistency (after the initial and subsequent application of the instrument) and stability over time (two-week test-retest reliability). This self-assessment study will demonstrate the complex environment
Tremblay, Dominique; Latreille, Jean; Bilodeau, Karine; Samson, Arnaud; Roy, Linda; L'Italien, Marie-France; Mimeault, Christine
This article discusses the case of a 47-year-old woman who underwent primary therapy with curative intent for breast cancer. The case illustrates a number of failure events in transferring information and responsibility from oncology to primary care teams. The article emphasizes the importance of shared leadership, as multiple team members, dispersed in time and space, pursue their own objectives while achieving the common goal of coordinating care for survivors of cancer transitioning across settings. Shared leadership is defined as a team property comprising shared responsibility and mutual influence between the patient and the patient's family, primary care providers, and oncology teams, whereby they lead each other toward quality and safety of care. Teams, including the patient-family, should achieve leadership when their contribution is relevant in managing task interdependence during transition. Shared leadership fosters coordinated actions to enable functioning as an integrated team-of-teams. This article illustrates how shared leadership can make a difference to coordinate interfaces and pathways, from therapy with curative intent to the follow-up and management of survivors of breast cancer. The detailed case is elaborated as a clinical vignette. It can be used by care providers and researchers to consider the need for new models of care for survivors of cancer by addressing the following questions. Who accepts shared leadership, how, with whom, and under what conditions? What is the evidence that supports the answers to these questions? The detailed case is also valuable for medical and allied health professional education.
Galvin, Sandra; Callan, Aoife; Cormican, Martin; Duane, Sinead; Bennett, Kathleen; Murphy, Andrew W; Vellinga, Akke
The increase in the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacterial pathogens and limited availability of new antimicrobials places immense pressure on general practitioners (GPs) to prescribe appropriately. Currently, electronic antimicrobial prescribing data is not routinely collected from GPs in Ireland for surveillance purposes to assess regional specific fluctuations or trends in antimicrobial prescribing. The current study aimed to address this issue by assessing the feasibility of remotely extracting antimicrobial prescribing data from primary care practices in Ireland, for the purpose of assessing prescribing quality using the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC) drug specific quality indicators. Participating practices (n = 30) uploaded data to the Irish Primary Care Research Network (IPCRN). The IPCRN data extraction facility is integrated within the practice patient management software system and permitted the extraction of anonymised patient prescriptions for a one year period, from October 2012 to October 2013. The quality of antimicrobial prescribing was evaluated using the twelve ESAC drug specific quality indicators using the defined daily dose (DDD) per 1,000 inhabitants per day (DID) methodology. National and European prescribing surveillance data (based on total pharmacy sales) was obtained for a comparative analysis. Antimicrobial prescriptions (n = 57,079) for 27,043 patients were obtained from the thirty study practices for a one year period. On average, study practices prescribed a greater proportion of quinolones (37 % increase), in summer compared with winter months, a variation which was not observed in national and European data. In comparison with national data, study practices prescribed higher proportions of β-lactamase-sensitive penicillins (4.98 % vs. 4.3 %) and a greater use of broad spectrum compared to narrow-spectrum antimicrobials (ratio = 9.98 vs. 6.26) was observed. Study practices exceeded the
Colliers, Annelies; Bartholomeeusen, Stefaan; Remmen, Roy; Coenen, Samuel; Michiels, Barbara; Bastiaens, Hilde; Van Royen, Paul; Verhoeven, Veronique; Holmgren, Philip; De Ruyck, Bernard; Philips, Hilde
Primary out-of-hours care is developing throughout Europe. High-quality databases with linked data from primary health services can help to improve research and future health services. In 2014, a central clinical research database infrastructure was established (iCAREdata: Improving Care And Research Electronic Data Trust Antwerp, www.icaredata.eu ) for primary and interdisciplinary health care at the University of Antwerp, linking data from General Practice Cooperatives, Emergency Departments and Pharmacies during out-of-hours care. Medical data are pseudonymised using the services of a Trusted Third Party, which encodes private information about patients and physicians before data is sent to iCAREdata. iCAREdata provides many new research opportunities in the fields of clinical epidemiology, health care management and quality of care. A key aspect will be to ensure the quality of data registration by all health care providers. This article describes the establishment of a research database and the possibilities of linking data from different primary out-of-hours care providers, with the potential to help to improve research and the quality of health care services.
Añel-Rodríguez, R M; Cambero-Serrano, M I; Irurzun-Zuazabal, E
To determine the prevalence and type of the clinical safety problems contained in the complaints made by patients and users in Primary Care. An observational, descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted by analysing both the complaint forms and the responses given to them in the period of one year. At least 4.6% of all claims analysed in this study contained clinical safety problems. The family physician is the professional who received the majority of the complaints (53.6%), and the main reason was the problems related to diagnosis (43%), mainly the delay in diagnosis. Other variables analysed were the severity of adverse events experienced by patients (in 68% of cases the patient suffered some harm), the subsequent impact on patient care, which was affected in 39% of cases (7% of cases even requiring hospital admission), and the level of preventability of adverse events (96% avoidable) described in the claims. Finally the type of response issued to each complaint was analysed, being purely bureaucratic in 64% of all cases. Complaints are a valuable source of information about the deficiencies identified by patients and healthcare users. There is considerable scope for improvement in the analysis and management of claims in general, and those containing clinical safety issues in particular. To date, in our area, there is a lack of appropriate procedures for processing these claims. Likewise, we believe that other pathways or channels should be opened to enable communication by patients and healthcare users. Copyright © 2015 SECA. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.
Fagan, Peter J; Schuster, Alyson B; Boyd, Cynthia; Marsteller, Jill A; Griswold, Michael; Murphy, Shannon M E; Dunbar, Linda; Forrest, Christopher B
Objective To examine the effects of an intervention comprising (1) a practice-based care coordination program, (2) augmented by pay for performance (P4P) for meeting quality targets, and (3) complemented by a third-party disease management on quality of care and resource use for older adults with diabetes. Data Sources/Study Setting Claims files of a managed care organization (MCO) for 20,943 adults aged 65 and older with diabetes receiving care in Alabama, Tennessee, or Texas, from January 2004 to March 2007. Study Design A quasi-experimental, longitudinal study in which pre- and postdata from 1,587 patients in nine intervention primary care practices were evaluated against 19,356 patients in MCO comparison practices (>900). Five incentivized quality measures, two nonincentivized measures, and two resource-use measures were investigated. We examined trends and changes in trends from baseline to follow-up, contrasting intervention and comparison group member results. Principal Findings Quality of care generally improved for both groups during the study period. Only slight differences were seen between the intervention and comparison group trends and changes in trends over time. Conclusions This study did not generate evidence supporting a beneficial effect of an on-site care coordination intervention augmented by P4P and complemented by third-party disease management on diabetes quality or resource use. PMID:20849553
Salisbury, Chris; Goodall, Stephen; Montgomery, Alan A; Pickin, D Mark; Edwards, Sarah; Sampson, Fiona; Simons, Lucy; Lattimer, Val
General practices in England have been encouraged to introduce Advanced Access, but there is no robust evidence that this is associated with improved access in ways that matter to patients. To compare priorities and experiences of patients consulting in practices which do or do not operate Advanced Access. Patient questionnaire survey. Forty-seven practices in 12 primary care trust areas of England. Questionnaire administered when patients consulted. Of 12,825 eligible patients, 10,821 (84%) responded. Most (70%) were consulting about a problem they had had for at least 'a few weeks'. Patients obtained their current appointment sooner in Advanced Access practices, but were less likely to have been able to book in advance. They could usually see a doctor more quickly than those in control practices, but were no more satisfied overall with the appointment system. The top priority for patients was to be seen on a day of choice rather than to be seen quickly, but different patient groups had different priorities. Patients in Advanced Access practices were no more or less likely to obtain an appointment that matched their priorities than those in control practices. Patients in both types of practice experienced problems making contact by telephone. Patients are seen more quickly in Advanced Access practices, but speed of access is less important to patients than choice of appointment; this may be because most consultations are about long-standing problems. Appointment systems need to be flexible to accommodate the different needs of different patient groups.
Modi, Rakesh Narendra; Ledingham, David
Patients with psychotic illnesses are predicted to die 15 years younger than the national average. The chief cause is cardiovascular disease (1). Evidence-based guidelines including those produced by the National Institute of Health and clinical Excellence and the Quality Outcomes Framework, recommend regular monitoring of their cardiovascular risk (2,3,4). Primary health care audits were undertaken in an urban and a rural setting. These looked at the proportion of patients who had their physical health regularly monitored in line with NICE guidelines. Following an audit in general practice, it became clear that there was a group of patients that were chronic non-attenders. It was not clear whether these patients were the responsibility of the general practices or psychiatric services. An audit in secondary care then looked at the level of cardiovascular health monitoring in that setting, and the communication of results to primary care. These audits demonstrated that monitoring of cardiovascular health did not meet standards as set by NICE. Further to this, communication of findings between primary and secondary care was also poor. Primary care interventions included setting up Alert reminder boxes on the computer system and sending invitations for clinic attendance to ‘at risk’ patients. In secondary care interventions included redesign of the patient lists to include a way of monitoring cardiovascular health and generation of a new discharge summary to facilitate communication of cardiovascular indicators to primary care. These interventions have resulted in marked improvements in cardiovascular health monitoring in primary care, however, there is still room for considerable improvement. Discussions about further intervention strategies, and further audit cycles, are ongoing. PMID:26734163
Liddy, Clare; Hogg, William; Russell, Grant; Wells, George; Armstrong, Catherine Deri; Akbari, Ayub; Dahrouge, Simone; Taljaard, Monica; Mayo-Bruinsma, Liesha; Singh, Jatinderpreet; Cornett, Alex
There is a need to find innovative approaches for translating best practices for chronic disease care into daily primary care practice routines. Primary care plays a crucial role in the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease. There is, however, a substantive care gap, and many challenges exist in implementing evidence-based care. The Improved Delivery of Cardiovascular Care (IDOCC) project is a pragmatic trial designed to improve the delivery of evidence-based care for the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease in primary care practices using practice outreach facilitation. The IDOCC project is a stepped-wedge cluster randomized control trial in which Practice Outreach Facilitators work with primary care practices to improve cardiovascular disease prevention and management for patients at highest risk. Primary care practices in a large health region in Eastern Ontario, Canada, were eligible to participate. The intervention consists of regular monthly meetings with the Practice Outreach Facilitator over a one- to two-year period. Starting with audit and feedback, consensus building, and goal setting, the practices are supported in changing practice behavior by incorporating chronic care model elements. These elements include (a) evidence-based decision support for providers, (b) delivery system redesign for practices, (c) enhanced self-management support tools provided to practices to help them engage patients, and (d) increased community resource linkages for practices to enhance referral of patients. The primary outcome is a composite score measured at the level of the patient to represent each practice's adherence to evidence-based guidelines for cardiovascular care. Qualitative analysis of the Practice Outreach Facilitators' written narratives of their ongoing practice interactions will be done. These textual analyses will add further insight into understanding critical factors impacting project implementation. This pragmatic, stepped
Green, Peter; Neely, Dermot; Humphries, Steve E
In the UK fewer than 15% of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) cases are diagnosed, representing a major gap in coronary heart disease prevention. We wished to support primary care doctors within the Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to implement NICE guidance (CG71) and consider the possibility of FH in adults who have raised total cholesterol concentrations, thereby improving the detection of people with FH. Utilizing clinical decision support software (Audit+) we developed an FH Audit Tool and implemented a systematic audit of electronic medical records within GP practices, first identifying all patients diagnosed with FH or possible FH and next electronically flagging patients with a recorded total cholesterol of >7.5 mmol L(-1) or LDL-C > 4.9 mmol L(-1) (in adults), for further assessment. After a 2-year period, a nurse-led clinic was introduced to screen more intensely for new FH index cases. We evaluated if these interventions increased the prevalence of FH closer to the expected prevalence from epidemiological studies. The baseline prevalence of FH within Medway CCG was 0.13% (1 in 750 persons). After 2 years, the recorded prevalence of diagnosed FH increased by 0.09% to 0.22% (1 in 450 persons). The nurse advisor programme ran for 9 months (October 2013-July 2014) and during this time, the recorded prevalence of patients diagnosed with FH increased to 0.28% (1 in 357 persons) and the prevalence of patients 'at risk and unscreened' reduced from 0.58% to 0.14%. Our study shows that two simple interventions increased the detection of FH. This systematic yet simple electronic case-finding programme with nurse-led review allowed the identification of new index cases, more than doubling the recorded prevalence of detected disease to 1 in 357 (0.28%). This study shows that primary care has an important role in identifying patients with this condition. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice published by John Wiley
Neely, Dermot; Humphries, Steve E.; Saunders, Tanya; Gray, Val; Gordon, Louise; Payne, Jules; Carter, Slade; Neuwirth, Clare; Rees, Alan; Gallagher, Hazel
Abstract Rationale, aims and objectives In the UK fewer than 15% of familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) cases are diagnosed, representing a major gap in coronary heart disease prevention. We wished to support primary care doctors within the Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to implement NICE guidance (CG71) and consider the possibility of FH in adults who have raised total cholesterol concentrations, thereby improving the detection of people with FH. Methods Utilizing clinical decision support software (Audit+) we developed an FH Audit Tool and implemented a systematic audit of electronic medical records within GP practices, first identifying all patients diagnosed with FH or possible FH and next electronically flagging patients with a recorded total cholesterol of >7.5 mmol L−1 or LDL‐C > 4.9 mmol L−1 (in adults), for further assessment. After a 2‐year period, a nurse‐led clinic was introduced to screen more intensely for new FH index cases. We evaluated if these interventions increased the prevalence of FH closer to the expected prevalence from epidemiological studies. Results The baseline prevalence of FH within Medway CCG was 0.13% (1 in 750 persons). After 2 years, the recorded prevalence of diagnosed FH increased by 0.09% to 0.22% (1 in 450 persons). The nurse advisor programme ran for 9 months (October 2013–July 2014) and during this time, the recorded prevalence of patients diagnosed with FH increased to 0.28% (1 in 357 persons) and the prevalence of patients ‘at risk and unscreened’ reduced from 0.58% to 0.14%. Conclusions Our study shows that two simple interventions increased the detection of FH. This systematic yet simple electronic case‐finding programme with nurse‐led review allowed the identification of new index cases, more than doubling the recorded prevalence of detected disease to 1 in 357 (0.28%). This study shows that primary care has an important role in identifying patients with this condition. PMID
Kastner, Monika; Sawka, Anna M; Hamid, Jemila; Chen, Maggie; Thorpe, Kevin; Chignell, Mark; Ewusie, Joycelyne; Marquez, Christine; Newton, David; Straus, Sharon E
Osteoporosis affects over 200 million people worldwide at a high cost to healthcare systems, yet gaps in management still exist. In response, we developed a multi-component osteoporosis knowledge translation (Op-KT) tool involving a patient-initiated risk assessment questionnaire (RAQ), which generates individualized best practice recommendations for physicians and customized education for patients at the point of care. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Op-KT tool for appropriate disease management by physicians. The Op-KT tool was evaluated using an interrupted time series design. This involved multiple assessments of the outcomes 12 months before (baseline) and 12 months after tool implementation (52 data points in total). Inclusion criteria were family physicians and their patients at risk for osteoporosis (women aged ≥ 50 years, men aged ≥ 65 years). Primary outcomes were the initiation of appropriate osteoporosis screening and treatment. Analyses included segmented linear regression modeling and analysis of variance. The Op-KT tool was implemented in three family practices in Ontario, Canada representing 5 family physicians with 2840 age eligible patients (mean age 67 years; 76% women). Time series regression models showed an overall increase from baseline in the initiation of screening (3.4%; P < 0.001), any osteoporosis medications (0.5%; P = 0.006), and calcium or vitamin D (1.2%; P = 0.001). Improvements were also observed at site level for all the three sites considered, but these results varied across the sites. Of 351 patients who completed the RAQ unprompted (mean age 64 years, 77% women), the mean time for completing the RAQ was 3.43 minutes, and 56% had any disease management addressed by their physician. Study limitations included the inherent susceptibility of our design compared with a randomized trial. The multicomponent Op-KT tool significantly increased osteoporosis investigations in three
Grudniewicz, Agnes; Bhattacharyya, Onil; McKibbon, K Ann; Straus, Sharon E
Printed educational materials (PEMs) are a frequently used tool to disseminate clinical information and attempt to change behavior within primary care. However, their effect on clinician behavior is limited. In this study, we explored how PEMs can be redesigned to better meet the needs of primary care physicians (PCPs) and whether usability and selection can be increased when design principles and user preferences are used. We redesigned a publicly available PEM using physician preferences, design principles, and graphic designer support. We invited PCPs to select their preferred document between the redesigned and original versions in a discrete choice experiment, followed by an assessment of usability with the System Usability Scale and a think aloud process. We conducted this study in both a controlled and opportunistic setting to determine whether usability testing results vary by study location. Think aloud data was thematically analyzed, and results were interpreted using the Technology Acceptance Model. One hundred and eighty four PCPs participated in the discrete choice experiment at the 2014 Family Medicine Forum, a large Canadian conference for family physicians. Of these, 87.7 % preferred the redesigned version. Follow-up interviews were held with a randomly selected group of seven participants. We repeated this in a controlled setting in Toronto, Canada, with a set of 14 participants. Using the System Usability Scale, we found that usability scores were significantly increased with the redesign (p < 0.001). We also found that when PCPs were given the choice between the two versions, they selected the redesigned version as their preferred PEM more often than the original (p < 0.001). Results did not appear to differ between the opportunistic and controlled setting. We used the results of the think aloud process to add to a list of end user preferences developed in a previous study. We found that redesigning a PEM with user preferences and design
Meehan, Thomas P; Van Hoof, Thomas J; Giannotti, Tierney E; Tate, Janet P; Elwell, Anne; Curry, Maureen; Petrillo, Marcia K
The objective of this study was to describe the experience of a Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) providing educational outreach to promote use of quality improvement (QI) tools in primary care private practice. Two QIO outreach workers conducted visits with physicians and targeted staff. Data were analyzed on physician demographics, visits, and use of QI tools using standard quantitative and qualitative methods. QIO staff frequently encountered difficulty in accessing physicians and administrative staff and reported many barriers to QI. Despite these challenges, outreach visits were associated with adoption of QI tools, and certain physician characteristics were associated with greater numbers of outreach visits and tools adopted. QIOs and other external parties who seek to improve quality of care in private practice primary care physician offices face challenges in gaining access to physicians and administrative personnel. Additional study is needed to better understand associations between physician characteristics, educational outreach visits, and adoption of QI tools.
Santelli, John; Morreale, Madlyn; Wigton, Alyssa; Grason, Holly
Recognizing that school-based health centers are one of the most promising recent innovations to address the health and related needs of adolescents, this report provides information on these centers as a strategy to improve the access of adolescents to primary care. The report is intended to assist state and local Maternal and Child Health (MCH)…
Locke, Amanda; Kamo, Norifumi
Access to mental health providers has become an increasingly common challenge for many patients with depression and anxiety disorders. Primary care providers often manage this gap in care and currently provide solo care without the assistance of other team members. In order to provide quality care that aligns with best practice, we developed a depression and anxiety disorder treatment pathway utilizing a multidisciplinary team based on each members' individual skill set, or skill-task alignment. The main change to treatment implemented by the pathway was the addition of a clinical pharmacist in the management of patient care. This pathway was trialed over five months targeting two adult primary care teams (approximately 34 physicians and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners [ARNPs]) while the other five teams continued with current practice standards. Post-implementation metrics indicated that clinical pharmacists successfully contacted 55% (406 of 738) of patients started on medication or who had a medication changed. Of these patients reached, 82 (20%) had an intervention completed. In addition, all physician leaders on the planning team (n=6) stated the new pathway was well received and delivered positive feedback from team members.
Jones, R; Murphy, E; Crosland, A
Research activity in primary care is increasing rapidly, and raises a range of specific ethical issues. Many of these relate to the involvement of individuals in the community who are not seeking medical care and to the impact of research participation on relationships between general practitioners and their patients. The ethical issues pertinent to a range of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies in primary care are identified and considered. PMID:8554844
Ferrer, Robert L; Gonzalez Schlenker, Carolina; Lozano Romero, Raquel; Poursani, Ramin; Bazaldua, Oralia; Davidson, DeWayne; Ann Gonzales, Melissa; Dehoyos, Janie; Castilla, Martha; Corona, Betty A; Tysinger, James; Alsip, Bryan; Trejo, Jonathan; Jaén, Carlos Roberto
Improving health among people living in poverty often transcends narrowly focused illness care. Meaningful success is unlikely without confronting the complex social origins of illness. We describe an emerging community of solution to improve health outcomes for a population of 6000 San Antonio, Texas, residents enrolled in a county health care program. The community of solution comprises a county health system, a family medicine residency program, a metropolitan public health department, and local nonprofit organizations and businesses. Community-based activities responding to the needs of individuals and their neighborhoods are driven by a cohort of promotores (community health workers) whose mission encompasses change at both the individual and community levels. Centered on patients' functional goals, promotores mobilize family and community resources and consider what community-level action will address the social determinants of health. On the clinical side, care teams implement population-based risk assessment and nurse care management with a focus on care transitions as well as other measures to meet the needs of patients with high morbidity and high use of health care. Population-based outcome metrics include reductions in hospitalizations, emergency department and urgent care visits, and the associated charges. Promotores also assess patients' progress along the trajectory of their selected functional goals.
Ellner, Andrew L; Phillips, Russell S
The United States has the most expensive, technologically advanced, and sub-specialized healthcare system in the world, yet it has worse population health status than any other high-income country. Rising healthcare costs, high rates of waste, the continued trend towards chronic non-communicable disease, and the growth of new market entrants that compete with primary care services have set the stage for fundamental change in all of healthcare, driven by a revolution in primary care. We believe that the coming primary care revolution ought to be guided by the following design principles: 1) Payment must adequately support primary care and reward value, including non-visit-based care. 2) Relationships will serve as the bedrock of value in primary care, and will increasingly be fostered by teams, improved clinical operations, and technology, with patients and non-physicians assuming an ever-increasing role in most aspects of healthcare. 3) Generalist physicians will increasingly focus on high-acuity and high-complexity presentations, and primary care teams will increasingly manage conditions that specialists managed in the past. 4) Primary care will refocus on whole-person care, and address health behaviors as well as vision, hearing, dental, and social services. Design based on these principles should lead to higher-value healthcare, but will require new approaches to workforce training.
Powell-Jackson, Timothy; Yip, Winnie Chi-Man; Han, Wei
China's recent and ambitious health care reform involves a shift from the reliance on markets to the reaffirmation of the central role of the state in the financing and provision of services. In collaboration with the Government of the Ningxia province, we examined the impact of two key features of the reform on health care utilisation using panel household data. The first policy change was a redesign of the rural insurance benefit package, with an emphasis on reorientating incentives away from inpatient towards outpatient care. The second policy change involved a shift from a fee-for-service payment method to a capitation budget with pay-for-performance amongst primary care providers. We find that the insurance intervention, in isolation, led to a 47% increase in the use of outpatient care at village clinics and greater intensity of treatment (e.g. injections). By contrast, the two interventions in combination showed no effect on health care use over and above that generated by the redesign of the insurance benefit package.
Mariotti, Giuliano; Gentilini, Maria; Dapor, Valter
Our main aim was to evaluate the ability of electronic feedback and of an electronic referral decision support system (ERSS) to enhance agreement between primary care physicians (PCPs) and specialists in priority assignment in clinics. 62 PCPs used a ranking system of waiting times based on different categories of clinical priority called 'Homogeneous Waiting Groups' (HWGs), which was also used by specialists to assign a priority category for each patient. From the year 2001, all PCPs had to use a paper-based manual (group 1); instead from 2008, specialists began to use a computer-based tool, whereby the priority category reassigned to each patient by specialists promptly appeared on PCPs' computers (group 2). During the course of 2010, the manual was incorporated in ERSS and was used by a subgroup of PCPs (group 3). Agreement between PCPs and specialists' priority assignments was evaluated by the kappa statistic. In group 1, the kappa statistic was 0.564 (95% CI=0.526-0.602); in group 2, the kappa statistic was 0.668 (95% CI=0.619-0.716); whereas in group 3 (that used ERSS) a very high kappa statistic emerged of 0.883 (95% CI=0.854-0.912). There was a significant difference in the proportion of agreement among the three groups (χ(2)=182.5, 2df, p<.0001). A significant difference in statistics was also observed in the proportion of priority levels used by PCPs over the years. Our results emphasize the positive effect of feedback and ERSS for improving referral activity and agreement between PCPs and specialists. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Spanish doctors are still leaving the country to look for quality work. Ireland is not a country with many Spanish professionals but it is interesting to know its particular Health care system. Ireland is one of the countries with a national health care system, although it has a mixture of private health care insurance schemes. People have a right to health care if they have been living in Ireland at least for a year. Access to the primary care health system depends on age and income: free of charge for Category 1 and co-payments for the rest. This division generates great inequalities among the population. Primary Care doctors are self-employed, and they work independently. However, since 2001 they have tended to work in multidisciplinary teams in order to strengthen the Primary Care practice. Salary is gained from a combination of public and private incomes which are not differentiated. The role of the General Practitioner consists in the treatment of acute and chronic diseases, minor surgery, child care, etc. There is no coordination between Primary and Secondary care. Access to specialised medicine is regulated by the price of consultation. Primary Care doctors are not gatekeepers. To be able to work here, doctors must have three years of training after medical school. After that, Continuing Medical Education is compulsory, and the college of general practitioners monitors it annually. The Irish health care system does not fit into the European model. Lack of a clear separation between public and private health care generates great inequalities. The non-existence of coordination between primary and specialised care leads to inefficiencies, which Ireland cannot allow itself after a decade of economic crisis. Copyright © 2017 Sociedad Española de Médicos de Atención Primaria (SEMERGEN). Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.
Brandt, Kasey L; Booker, John M; McGrath, Jane
The purpose of the Pediatric Overweight Quality Improvement Initiative (POWQII) was to demonstrate the feasibility and value of simple interventions for improving pediatric care and to address the additional needs of overweight and obese children. Practices were recruited from around New Mexico, with 16 pediatricians completing the POWQII within 9 to 12 months. Initially, documentation of BMI percentile across all practices was only 49%, increasing to more than 90% on average following the first intervention and eventually reaching an average of 99%. Nutrition and physical activity counseling started at 52% and 39%, respectively, increasing to 87% for nutrition and 77% for physical activity. Diagnosis of POW patients improved over the course of the POWQII (67% to 94%). This intervention's potential impact can extend to a larger population of patients, resulting in twice as many receiving screening for POW and increasing best practices known to improve ongoing care and patient outcomes.
Peled, Ronit; Porath, Avi; Wilf-Miron, Rachel
Primary Care Health organizations, operating under universal coverage and a regulated package of benefits, compete mainly over quality of care. Monitoring, primary care clinical performance, has been repeatedly proven effective in improving the quality of care. In 2004, Maccabi Healthcare Services (MHS), the second largest Israeli HMO, launched its Performance Measurement System (PMS) based on clinical quality indicators. A unique module was built in the PMS to adjust for case mix while tailoring targets to the local units. This article presents the concept and formulas developed to adjust targets to the units' current performance, and analyze change in clinical indicators over a six year period, between sub-population groups. Six process and intermediate outcome indicators, representing screening for breast and colorectal cancer and care for patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease, were selected and analyzed for change over time (2003-2009) in overall performance, as well as the difference between the lowest and the highest socio-economic ranks (SERs) and Arab and non-Arab members. MHS demonstrated a significant improvement in the selected indicators over the years. Performance of members from low SERs and Arabs improved to a greater extent, as compared to members from high ranks and non-Arabs, respectively. The performance measurement system, with its module for tailoring of units' targets, served as a managerial vehicle for bridging existing gaps by allocating more resources to lower performing units. This concept was proven effective in improving performance while reducing disparities between diverse population groups.
Palmer, Celia; Bycroft, Janine; Healey, Kate; Field, Adrian; Ghafel, Mazin
Auckland District Health Board was one of four District Health Boards to trial the Breakthrough Series (BTS) methodology to improve the management of long-term conditions in New Zealand, with support from the Ministry of Health. To improve clinical outcomes, facilitate planned care and promote quality improvement within participating practices in Auckland. Implementation of the Collaborative followed the improvement model / Institute for Healthcare Improvement methodology. Three topic areas were selected: system redesign, cardio-vascular disease/diabetes, and self-management support. An expert advisory group and the Improvement Foundation Australia helped guide project development and implementation. Primary Health Organisation facilitators were trained in the methodology and 15 practice teams participated in the three learning workshops and action periods over 12 months. An independent evaluation study using both quantitative and qualitative methods was conducted. Improvements were recorded in cardiovascular disease risk assessment, practice-level systems of care, self-management systems and follow-up and coordination for patients. Qualitative research found improvements in coordination and teamwork, knowledge of practice populations and understanding of managing long-term conditions. The Collaborative process delivered some real improvements in the systems of care for people with long-term conditions and a change in culture among participating practices. The findings suggest that by strengthening facilitation processes, improving access to comprehensive population audit tools and lengthening the time frame, the process has the potential to make significant improvements in practice. Other organisations should consider this approach when investigating quality improvement programmes.
Uchôa, Severina Alice da Costa; Arcêncio, Ricardo Alexandre; Fronteira, Inês Santos Estevinho; Coêlho, Ardigleusa Alves; Martiniano, Claudia Santos; Brandão, Isabel Cristina Araújo; Yamamura, Mellina; Maroto, Renata Melo
Objective: to analyze the influence of contextual indicators on the performance of municipalities regarding potential access to primary health care in Brazil and to discuss the contribution from nurses working on this access. Method: a multicenter descriptive study based on secondary data from External Evaluation of the National Program for Access and Quality Improvement in Primary Care, with the participation of 17,202 primary care teams. The chi-square test of proportions was used to verify differences between the municipalities stratified based on size of the coverage area, supply, coordination, and integration; when necessary, the chi-square test with Yates correction or Fisher's exact test were employed. For the population variable, the Kruskal-Wallis test was used. Results: the majority of participants were nurses (n=15.876; 92,3%). Statistically significant differences were observed between the municipalities in terms of territory (p=0.0000), availability (p=0.0000), coordination of care (p=0.0000), integration (p=0.0000) and supply (p=0.0000), verifying that the municipalities that make up area 6 tend to have better performance in these dimensions. Conclusion: areas 4,5 and 6 performed better in every analyzed dimension, and the nurse had a leading role in the potential to access primary health care in Brazil. PMID:26959332
Uchôa, Severina Alice da Costa; Arcêncio, Ricardo Alexandre; Fronteira, Inês Santos Estevinho; Coêlho, Ardigleusa Alves; Martiniano, Claudia Santos; Brandão, Isabel Cristina Araújo; Yamamura, Mellina; Maroto, Renata Melo
to analyze the influence of contextual indicators on the performance of municipalities regarding potential access to primary health care in Brazil and to discuss the contribution from nurses working on this access. a multicenter descriptive study based on secondary data from External Evaluation of the National Program for Access and Quality Improvement in Primary Care, with the participation of 17,202 primary care teams. The chi-square test of proportions was used to verify differences between the municipalities stratified based on size of the coverage area, supply, coordination, and integration; when necessary, the chi-square test with Yates correction or Fisher's exact test were employed. For the population variable, the Kruskal-Wallis test was used. the majority of participants were nurses (n=15.876; 92,3%). Statistically significant differences were observed between the municipalities in terms of territory (p=0.0000), availability (p=0.0000), coordination of care (p=0.0000), integration (p=0.0000) and supply (p=0.0000), verifying that the municipalities that make up area 6 tend to have better performance in these dimensions. areas 4,5 and 6 performed better in every analyzed dimension, and the nurse had a leading role in the potential to access primary health care in Brazil.
Pandhi, Nancy; DeVoe, Jennifer E; Schumacher, Jessica R; Bartels, Christie; Thorpe, Carolyn T; Thorpe, Joshua M; Smith, Maureen A
A fundamental aim of primary care redesign and the patient-centered medical home is improving access to care. Patients who report having a usual site of care and usual provider are more likely to receive preventive services, but less is known about the influence of specific components of first-contact access (e.g., availability of appointments, advice by telephone) on preventive services receipt. To examine the relationship between number of first-contact access components and receipt of recommended preventive services. Secondary survey data analysis. Five thousand five hundred and seven insured adults who had continuity with a usual primary care physician and participated in the 2003-2006 round of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Survey. Using multivariable logistic regression, we calculated adjusted risk ratios, adjusted predicted probabilities and 95% confidence intervals for each preventive service. Experiencing more first-contact access components was significantly associated with a higher rate of receiving cholesterol tests, flu shots and prostate exams but not mammography. There was variation in the number of components needed (between two and seven) to achieve a significant difference. Having an increasing number of first-access components in a primary care office may improve preventive services receipt, and more components may be required for those services requiring greater provider contact (e.g., prostate exam) versus those that require less (e.g., mammography). In primary care redesign, the largest gains in preventive services receipt likely will come with redesign of multiple components simultaneously. While our study is a necessary step towards broadly understanding the relationship between first-contact access and preventive service receipt, other important questions remain. Certain components may drive greater improvements in the receipt of different services, and the effect of some of these components may depend on individual patient characteristics
Peckham, Stephen; Hutchison, Brian
The performance of Canada's primary care sector remains lacklustre relative to other wealthy industrialized countries, and it has been suggested that a lack of investment in research and evaluation may be a cause. One approach to improving and sustaining primary care research is through research networks. Over the past few years, significant investments have begun to be made in developing primary care networks in Canada. While Canadian experience in this area is relatively new, in the United Kingdom primary care research networks were first established in the 1980s. Initially developed at a local level, these have more recently been incorporated into large-scale national networks. This paper reviews the UK experience and highlights potential lessons for the development of networks in Canada. PMID:23968616
Olayiwola, J. Nwando; Anderson, Daren; Jepeal, Nicole; Aseltine, Robert; Pickett, Christopher; Yan, Jun; Zlateva, Ianita
PURPOSE Communication between specialists and primary care clinicians is suboptimal, and access to referrals is often limited, which can lead to lower quality, inefficiency, and errors. An electronic consultation (e-consultation) is an asynchronous, non-face-to-face consultation between a primary care clinician and a specialist using a secure electronic communication platform. The purpose of this study was to conduct a randomized controlled trial of e-consultations to test its efficacy and effectiveness in reducing wait times and improving access to specialty care. METHODS Primary care clinicians were randomized into a control (9 traditional) or an intervention (17 e-consultation) arm for referrals to cardiologists. Primary care clinicians were recruited from 12 practice sites in a community health center in Connecticut with mainly medically underserved patients. Two end points were analyzed with a Cox proportional hazards model where the hazard of either a visit or an e-consultation was linked to study arm, sex, race, and age. RESULTS Thirty-six primary care clinicians participated in the study, referring 590 patients. In total, 69% of e-consultations were resolved without a visit to a cardiologist. After adjusting for covariates, median days to a review for an electronic consultation vs a visit for control patients were 5 and 24, respectively. A review of 6-month follow-up data found fewer cardiac-related emergency department visits for the intervention group. CONCLUSION E-consultation referrals improved access to and timeliness of care for an underserved population, reduced overall specialty utilization, and streamlined specialty referrals without any increase in adverse cardiovascular outcomes. e-consultations are a potential solution for improving access to specialty care. PMID:26951588
Tudor Car, Lorainne; Papachristou, Nikolaos; Gallagher, Joseph; Samra, Rajvinder; Wazny, Kerri; El-Khatib, Mona; Bull, Adrian; Majeed, Azeem; Aylin, Paul; Atun, Rifat; Rudan, Igor; Car, Josip; Bell, Helen; Vincent, Charles; Franklin, Bryony Dean
Medication error is a frequent, harmful and costly patient safety incident. Research to date has mostly focused on medication errors in hospitals. In this study, we aimed to identify the main causes of, and solutions to, medication error in primary care. We used a novel priority-setting method for identifying and ranking patient safety problems and solutions called PRIORITIZE. We invited 500 North West London primary care clinicians to complete an open-ended questionnaire to identify three main problems and solutions relating to medication error in primary care. 113 clinicians submitted responses, which we thematically synthesized into a composite list of 48 distinct problems and 45 solutions. A group of 57 clinicians randomly selected from the initial cohort scored these and an overall ranking was derived. The agreement between the clinicians' scores was presented using the average expert agreement (AEA). The study was conducted between September 2013 and November 2014. The top three problems were incomplete reconciliation of medication during patient 'hand-overs', inadequate patient education about their medication use and poor discharge summaries. The highest ranked solutions included development of a standardized discharge summary template, reduction of unnecessary prescribing, and minimisation of polypharmacy. Overall, better communication between the healthcare provider and patient, quality assurance approaches during medication prescribing and monitoring, and patient education on how to use their medication were considered the top priorities. The highest ranked suggestions received the strongest agreement among the clinicians, i.e. the highest AEA score. Clinicians identified a range of suggestions for better medication management, quality assurance procedures and patient education. According to clinicians, medication errors can be largely prevented with feasible and affordable interventions. PRIORITIZE is a new, convenient, systematic, and replicable method
Salinas, Maria; López-Garrigós, Maite; Flores, Emilio; Leiva-Salinas, Maria; Lugo, Javier; Pomares, Francisco J; Asencio, Alberto; Ahumada, Miguel; Leiva-Salinas, Carlos
Introduction To study the pre-design and success of a strategy based on the addition of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in the blood samples of certain primary care patients to detect new cases of type 2 diabetes. Materials and methods In a first step, we retrospectively calculated the number of HbA1c that would have been measured in one year if HbA1c would have been processed, according to the guidelines of the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Based on those results we decided to prospectively measure HbA1c in every primary care patient above 45 years, with no HbA1c in the previous 3 years, and glucose concentration between 5.6-6.9 mmol/L, during an 18 months period. We calculated the number of HbA1c that were automatically added by the LIS based on our strategy, we evaluated the medical record of such subjects to confirm whether type 2 diabetes was finally confirmed, and we calculated the cost of our intervention. Results In a first stage, according to the guidelines, Hb1Ac should have been added to the blood samples of 13,085 patients, resulting in a cost of 14,973€. In the prospective study, the laboratory added Hb1Ac to 2092 patients, leading to an expense of 2393€. 314 patients had an HbA1c value ≥ 6.5% (48 mmol/mol). 82 were finally diagnosed as type 2 diabetes; 28 thanks to our strategy, with an individual cost of 85.4€; and 54 due to the request of HbA1c by the general practitioners (GPs), with a cost of 47.5€. Conclusion The automatic laboratory-based strategy detected patients with type 2 diabetes in primary care, at a cost of 85.4€ per new case. PMID:26981026
Salinas, Maria; López-Garrigós, Maite; Flores, Emilio; Leiva-Salinas, Maria; Lugo, Javier; Pomares, Francisco J; Asencio, Alberto; Ahumada, Miguel; Leiva-Salinas, Carlos
To study the pre-design and success of a strategy based on the addition of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in the blood samples of certain primary care patients to detect new cases of type 2 diabetes. In a first step, we retrospectively calculated the number of HbA1c that would have been measured in one year if HbA1c would have been processed, according to the guidelines of the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Based on those results we decided to prospectively measure HbA1c in every primary care patient above 45 years, with no HbA1c in the previous 3 years, and glucose concentration between 5.6-6.9 mmol/L, during an 18 months period. We calculated the number of HbA1c that were automatically added by the LIS based on our strategy, we evaluated the medical record of such subjects to confirm whether type 2 diabetes was finally confirmed, and we calculated the cost of our intervention. In a first stage, according to the guidelines, Hb1Ac should have been added to the blood samples of 13,085 patients, resulting in a cost of 14,973€. In the prospective study, the laboratory added Hb1Ac to 2092 patients, leading to an expense of 2393€. 314 patients had an HbA1c value ≥ 6.5% (48 mmol/mol). 82 were finally diagnosed as type 2 diabetes; 28 thanks to our strategy, with an individual cost of 85.4€; and 54 due to the request of HbA1c by the general practitioners (GPs), with a cost of 47.5€. The automatic laboratory-based strategy detected patients with type 2 diabetes in primary care, at a cost of 85.4€ per new case.
Edinger, Jack D; Grubber, Janet; Ulmer, Christi; Zervakis, Jennifer; Olsen, Maren
To test a collaborative care model for interfacing sleep specialists with primary care providers to enhance patients' sleep disorders management. This study used a randomized, parallel group, clinical intervention trial design. A total of 137 adult (29 women) VA outpatients with sleep complaints were enrolled and randomly assigned to (1) an intervention (INT) consisting of a one-time consultation with a sleep specialist who provided diagnostic feedback and treatment recommendations to the patient and the patient's primary care provider; or (2) a control condition consisting of their usual primary care (UPC). Provider-focused outcomes included rates of adherence to recommended diagnostic procedures and sleep-focused interventions. Patient-focused outcomes included measures taken from sleep diaries and actigraphy; Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) scores; and self-report measures of sleepiness, fatigue, mood, quality of life, and satisfaction with health care. The proportions of provider-initiated sleep-focused interventions were significantly higher in the INT group than in the UPC group for polysomnography referrals (49% versus 6%; P < 0.001) and mental health clinic referrals (19% versus 6%; P = 0.02). At the 10-mo follow up, INT recipients showed greater estimated mean reductions in diary total wake time (-17.0 min; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -30.9, -3.1; P = 0.02) and greater increases in sleep efficiency (+3.7%; 95% CI: 0.8, 6.5; P = 0.01) than did UPC participants. A greater proportion of the INT group showed ≥ 1 standard deviation decline on the PSQI from baseline to the 10-mo follow-up (41% versus 21%; P = 0.02). Moreover, 69% of the INT group had normal (≤ 10) Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores at the 10-mo follow-up, whereas only 50% of the UPC group fell below this clinical cutoff (P = 0.03). A one-time sleep consultation significantly increased healthcare providers' attention to sleep problems and resulted in benefits to patients' sleep
Koppula, Sudha; Brown, Judith B.; Jordan, John M.
Abstract Objective To explore the experiences and recommendations for recruitment of family physicians who practise and teach primary care obstetrics. Design Qualitative study using in-depth interviews. Setting Six primary care obstetrics groups in Edmonton, Alta, that were involved in teaching family medicine residents in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta. Participants Twelve family physicians who practised obstetrics in groups. All participants were women, which was reasonably representative of primary care obstetrics providers in Edmonton. Methods Each participant underwent an in-depth interview. The interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. The investigators independently reviewed the transcripts and then analyzed the transcripts together in an iterative and interpretive manner. Main findings Themes identified in this study include lack of confidence in teaching, challenges of having learners, benefits of having learners, and recommendations for recruiting learners to primary care obstetrics. While participants described insecurity and challenges related to teaching, they also identified positive aspects, and offered suggestions for recruiting learners to primary care obstetrics. Conclusion Despite describing poor confidence as teachers and having challenges with learners, the participants identified positive experiences that sustained their interest in teaching. Supporting these teachers and recruiting more such role models is important to encourage family medicine learners to enter careers such as primary care obstetrics. PMID:24627402
Kolko, David J; Campo, John V; Kelleher, Kelly; Cheng, Yu
To determine the effectiveness of an on-site modular intervention in improving access to mental health services and outcomes for children with behavioral problems in primary care relative to enhanced usual care. The study includes boys and girls from six primary care offices in metropolitan Pittsburgh, PA. One hundred sixty-three clinically referred children who met a modest clinical cutoff (75th percentile) on the externalizing behavior scale of the Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 were randomized to a protocol for on-site, nurse-administered intervention or to enhanced usual care. Protocol for on-site, nurse-administered intervention applied treatment modules from an evidence-based specialty mental health treatment for children with disruptive behavior disorders that were adapted for delivery in the primary care setting; enhanced usual care offered diagnostic assessment, recommendations, and facilitated referral to a specialty mental health provider in the community. The main outcome measures such as standardized rating scales, including the Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17, individualized target behavior ratings, treatment termination reports, and diagnostic interviews were collected. Protocol for on-site, nurse-administered intervention cases were significantly more likely to receive and complete mental health services, reported fewer service barriers and more consumer satisfaction, and showed greater, albeit modest, improvements on just a few clinical outcomes that included remission for categorical behavioral disorders at 1-year follow-up. Both conditions also reported several significant improvements on several clinical outcomes over time. A psychosocial intervention for behavior problems that was delivered by nurses in the primary care setting is feasible, improves access to mental health services, and has some clinical efficacy. Options for enhancing clinical outcome include the use of multifaceted collaborative care interventions in the pediatric practice.
Kimura, Joe; DaSilva, Karen; Marshall, Richard
The increasing prevalence of chronic illnesses in the United States requires a fundamental redesign of the primary care delivery system's structure and processes in order to meet the changing needs and expectations of patients. Population management, systems-based practice, and planned chronic illness care are 3 potential processes that can be integrated into primary care and are compatible with the Chronic Care Model. In 2003, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, a multispecialty ambulatory physician group practice based in Boston, Massachusetts, began implementing all 3 processes across its primary care practices. From 2004 to 2006, the overall diabetes composite quality measures improved from 51% to 58% for screening (HgA1c x 2, low-density lipoprotein, blood pressure in 12 months) and from 13% to 17% for intermediate outcomes (HgA1c
Crossland, Lisa; Janamian, Tina; Sheehan, Mary; Siskind, Victor; Hepworth, Julie; Jackson, Claire L
To assess the usability and validity of the Primary Care Practice Improvement Tool (PC-PIT), a practice performance improvement tool based on 13 key elements identified by a systematic review. It was co-created with a range of partners and designed specifically for primary health care. This pilot study examined the PC-PIT using a formative assessment framework and mixed-methods research design. Six high-functioning general practices in Queensland, Australia, between February and July 2013. A total of 28 staff participated - 10 general practitioners, six practice or community nurses, 12 administrators (four practice managers; one business manager and eight reception or general administrative staff). Readability, content validity and staff perceptions of the PC-PIT. The PC-PIT offers an appropriate and acceptable approach to internal quality improvement in general practice. Quantitative assessment scores and qualitative data from all staff identified two areas in which the PC-PIT required modification: a reduction in the indicative reading age, and simplification of governance-related terms and concepts. The PC-PIT provides an innovative approach to address the complexity of organisational improvement in general practice and primary health care. This initial validation will be used to develop a suite of supporting, high-quality and free-to-access resources to enhance the use of the PC-PIT in general practice. Based on these findings, a national trial is now underway.
Martins, Sonia Maria; Salibe-Filho, William; Tonioli, Luís Paulo; Pfingesten, Luís Eduardo; Braz, Patrícia Dias; McDonnell, Juliet; Williams, Siân; do Carmo, Débora; de Sousa, Jaime Correia; Pinnock, Hilary; Stelmach, Rafael
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are leading causes of hospitalisation and death in the city of Sao Bernardo do Campo. The municipality had difficulties in sustaining a pulmonology specialist team. Local policy has strengthened the knowledge of the primary care teams to improve the management of these diseases. Our aim is to pilot the implementation of an educational intervention based on collaborative care focused on reducing respiratory-related referrals. We implemented ‘matrix support’: a Brazilian collaborative educational intervention promoting specialist training and support for primary care physicians in three health territories with the highest number of referrals. Clinicians and nurses from primary care attended an 8-h workshop. The backlog of respiratory referrals was prioritised, where Asthma and COPD represented 70% of referral reasons. Initially, pulmonologists held joint consultations with physicians and nurses; as confidence grew, these were replaced by round-table note-based case discussions. The primary outcome was the number of asthma and COPD referrals. Almost all primary healthcare professionals in the three areas (132 of 157–87%) were trained; 360 patients were discussed, including 220 joint consultations. The number of respiratory referrals dropped from 290 (the year before matrix support) to 134 (the year after) (P<0.05). Referrals for asthma/COPD decreased from 13.4 to 5.4 cases per month (P=0.09) and for other lung diseases from 10.8 to 5.3 cases per month (P<0.05). Knowledge scores showed a significant improvement (P<0.001). Matrix-support collaborative care was well-accepted by primary care professionals associated with improved knowledge and reduced respiratory referrals. The initiative attracted specialists to the region overcoming historical recruitment problems. PMID:27536853
Volker, Nerida; Davey, Rachel C; Cochrane, Thomas; Williams, Lauren T; Clancy, Tanya
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death globally, and accounted for nearly 31% of all deaths in Australia in 2011. The primary health care sector is at the frontline for addressing CVD, however, an evidence-to-practice gap exists in CVD risk assessment and management. General practice plays a key role in CVD risk assessment and management, but this sector cannot provide ongoing lifestyle change support in isolation. Community-based lifestyle modification services and programs provided outside the general practice setting have a key role in supporting and sustaining health behavior change. Fostering linkages between the health sector and community-based lifestyle services, and creating sustainable systems that support these sectors is important. The objective of the study Model for Prevention (MoFoP) is to take a case study approach to examine a CVD risk reduction intervention in primary health care, with the aim of identifying the key elements required for an effective and sustainable approach to coordinate CVD risk reduction across the health and community sectors. These elements will be used to consider a new systems-based model for the prevention of CVD that informs future practice. The MoFoP study will use a mixed methods approach, comprising two complementary research elements: (1) a case study, and (2) a pre/post quasi-experimental design. The case study will consider the organizations and systems involved in a CVD risk reduction intervention as a single case. The pre/post experimental design will be used for HeartLink, the intervention being tested, where a single cohort of patients between 45 and 74 years of age (or between 35 and 74 years of age if Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) considered to be at high risk for a CVD event will be recruited through general practice, provided with enhanced usual care and additional health behavior change support. A range of quantitative and qualitative data will be collected. This will include
Lin, Ivan B; Coffin, Juli; O'Sullivan, Peter B
Low back pain (LBP) care is frequently discordant with research evidence. This pilot study evaluated changes in LBP care following a systematic, theory informed intervention in a rural Australian Aboriginal Health Service. We aimed to improve three aspects of care; reduce inappropriate LBP radiological imaging referrals, increase psychosocial oriented patient assessment and, increase the provision of LBP self-management information to patients. Three interventions to improve care were developed using a four-step systematic implementation approach. A mixed methods pre/post cohort design evaluated changes in the three behaviours using a clinical audit of LBP care in a six month period prior to the intervention and then following implementation. In-depth interviews elicited the perspectives of involved General Practitioners (GPs). Qualitative analysis was guided by the theoretical domains framework. The proportion of patients who received guideline inconsistent imaging referrals (GICI) improved from 4.1 GICI per 10 patients to 0.4 (95% CI for decrease in rate: 1.6 to 5.6) amongst GPs involved in the intervention. Amongst non-participating GPs (locum/part-time GPs who commenced post-interventions) the rate of GICI increased from 1.5 to 4.4 GICI per 10 patients (95 % CI for increase in rate: .5 to 5.3). There was a modest increase in the number of patients who received LBP self-management information from participating GPs and no substantial changes to psychosocial oriented patient assessments by any participants; however GPs qualitatively reported that their behaviours had changed. Knowledge and beliefs about consequences were important behavioural domains related to changes. Environmental and resource factors including protocols for locum staff and clinical tools embedded in patient management software were future strategies identified. A systematic intervention model resulted in partial improvements in LBP care. Determinants of practice change amongst GPs were
McMurray, Josephine; Breward, Katherine; Breward, Michael; Alder, Rob; Arya, Neil
In this study we quantify the impact of a partnership between a dedicated health clinic for government assisted refugees (GARs), a local reception centre and community providers, on wait times and referrals. This study used a before and after, repeated survey study design to analyze archived administrative data. Using various statistical techniques, outcomes for refugees arriving 18 months prior to the introduction of the clinic were compared with those of refugees arriving in the 18 months after the clinic was established. Our investigation revealed wait times to see a health care provider decreased by 30 % with the introduction of a dedicated refugee health clinic. The likelihood of GARs being referred to physician specialists decreased by 45 %, but those referred were more likely to require multiple referrals due to increasingly complex medical needs. Referrals to non-physician specialist health care providers nearly doubled following the availability of the clinic. The time-limited, but intense health needs of GARs, require an integrated community-based primary healthcare intervention that includes dedicated health system navigators to support timely, more culturally appropriate care and successful integration.
Italy is not a country where Spanish doctors emigrate, as there is an over-supply of health care professionals. The Italian Servizio Sanitario Nazionale has some differences compared to the Spanish National Health System. The Servizio Sanitario Nazionale is financed by national and regional taxes and co-payments. There are taxes earmarked for health, and Primary Care receives 50% of the total funds. Italian citizens and residents in Italy have the right to free health cover. However, there are co-payments for laboratory and imaging tests, pharmaceuticals, specialist ambulatory services, and emergencies. Co-payments vary in the different regions. The provision of services is regional, and thus fragmentation and major inequities are the norm. Doctors in Primary Care are self-employed and from 2000 onwards, there are incentives to work in multidisciplinary teams. Salary is regulated by a national contract and it is the sum of per-capita payments and extra resources for specific activities. Responsibilities are similar to those of Spanish professionals. However, medical care is more personal. Relationships between Primary Care and specialised care depend on the doctors' relationships. Primary Care doctors are gatekeepers for specialised care, except for gynaecology, obstetrics and paediatrics. Specialised training is compulsory in order to work as general practitioner. The Italian Health Care System is a national health system like the Spanish one. However, health care professionals are self-employed, and there are co-payments. In spite of co-payments, Italians have one of the highest average life expectancy, and they support a universal and publicly funded health-care system. Copyright © 2017 Sociedad Española de Médicos de Atención Primaria (SEMERGEN). Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.
Marsteller, Jill A; Woodward, Paula; Underwood, William S; Hsiao, Chun-Ju; Barr, Michael S
Small practices often lack the human, financial and technical resources to make necessary practice improvements and infrastructure investments in order to achieve sustainable change that promotes quality and efficiency. To report on an effort to assist small primary care practices in improving quality of care and efficiency of practice management to meet the needs of patients, improve physician satisfaction and enhance the ability of these small practices to survive. We report on an intervention design and the reflections of the implementers on what they learned and what went well or poorly during implementation. Results of the intervention are reported separately (in Quality in Primary Care). Thirty practices underwent the entire intervention. The practices were selected on the basis of practice size, diversity in patient factors, apparent dedication to making practice improvements and geographic location. The main components of the intervention were two site visits to the participating practices by Center for Practice Innovation (CPI); now known as the Centre for Practice Improvement and Innovation, team members. The CPI team provided ongoing advice and support in focus areas selected by practices after initial site visit and assessment. A customised session focusing on the practice report and on helping practices to think about which areas they wished to improve was more effective in engaging practices than didactic presentation. Quality and practice management improvements were observed in information posting, patient education, staff communication and patient safety practices. Having a strong physician champion and a strong office manager determined to make quality improvement changes were important elements for successful change. In addition, practices with greater stability of staff and strong finances were more likely to meet project goals. Small practices today are facing a range of important challenges. The CPI sought to provide successful guidance to
Leslie, Laurel K.; Mehus, Christopher J.; Hawkins, J. David; Boat, Thomas; McCabe, Mary Ann; Barkin, Shari; Perrin, Ellen C.; Metzler, Carol W.; Prado, Guillermo; Tait, V. Fan; Brown, Randall; Beardslee, William
Family-focused prevention programs have been shown to effectively reduce a range of negative behavioral health outcomes but have had limited reach. Three key barriers must be overcome to expand the reach of family-focused prevention programs and thereby achieve a significant public health impact. These barriers are: (1) current social norms and perceptions of parenting programs; (2) concerns about the expertise and legitimacy of sponsoring organizations to offer parenting advice; and (3) a paucity of stable, sustainable funding mechanisms. Primary healthcare settings are well positioned to overcome these barriers. Recent changes within health care make primary care settings an increasingly favorable home for family-focused prevention and suggest possibilities for sustainable funding of family-focused prevention programs. This paper discusses the existing advantages of primary care settings and lays out a plan to move toward realizing the potential public health impact of family-focused prevention through widespread implementation in primary healthcare settings. PMID:27498167
McGowan, Jessie; Hogg, William; Campbell, Craig; Rowan, Margo
Background The “Just-in-time Information” (JIT) librarian consultation service was designed to provide rapid information to answer primary care clinical questions during patient hours. This study evaluated whether information provided by librarians to answer clinical questions positively impacted time, decision-making, cost savings and satisfaction. Methods and Finding A randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted between October 2005 and April 2006. A total of 1,889 questions were sent to the service by 88 participants. The object of the randomization was a clinical question. Each participant had clinical questions randomly allocated to both intervention (librarian information) and control (no librarian information) groups. Participants were trained to send clinical questions via a hand-held device. The impact of the information provided by the service (or not provided by the service), additional resources and time required for both groups was assessed using a survey sent 24 hours after a question was submitted. The average time for JIT librarians to respond to all questions was 13.68 minutes/question (95% CI, 13.38 to 13.98). The average time for participants to respond their control questions was 20.29 minutes/question (95% CI, 18.72 to 21.86). Using an impact assessment scale rating cognitive impact, participants rated 62.9% of information provided to intervention group questions as having a highly positive cognitive impact. They rated 14.8% of their own answers to control question as having a highly positive cognitive impact, 44.9% has having a negative cognitive impact, and 24.8% with no cognitive impact at all. In an exit survey measuring satisfaction, 86% (62/72 responses) of participants scored the service as having a positive impact on care and 72% (52/72) indicated that they would use the service frequently if it were continued. Conclusions In this study, providing timely information to clinical questions had a highly positive impact on decision
... HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Medicare Program; Comprehensive Primary Care... announces a solicitation for health care payer organizations to participate in the Comprehensive Primary Care initiative (CPC), a multipayer model designed to improve primary care. DATES: Letter of...
Muñoz de Escalona-Rojas, J E; Quereda-Castañeda, A; García-García, O
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is considered the most common cause of blindness in the working-age population in industrialised countries, with diabetic macular oedema being the most common reason of decreased visual acuity in diabetics. According to the results of large multicentre studies, blindness prevention for RD involves conducting periodic check-ups, which include examinations of the back of the eye, so they can be treated in time. The use of non-mydriatic cameras and telemedicine have been shown to be useful in this regard (sensitivity>80% and specificity>90%). If this procedure is followed, the first retinography should be performed 5 years from diagnosis in type 1 diabetics and immediately after diagnosis in type 2 diabetics. Therefore the role of the Primary Care physician is crucial to enable early diagnosis of this disease.
questionnaire . Arch Womens Ment Health, 10(6), 277‐283. Davis, D. (1998). Does CME work? An analysis of the effect of educational activities on physician...Thom, D., & MaCurdy, T. (1997). Effects of a self‐administered previsit questionnaire to enhance awareness of patients’ concerns in primary care. J...Murphy, F. M. (2003). Post‐Traumatic Stress Disorder and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome‐like Illness among Gulf War Veterans: A Population‐ based Survey
Background Practice facilitation (PF) is an implementation strategy now commonly used in primary care settings for improvement initiatives. PF occurs when a trained external facilitator engages and supports the practice in its change efforts. The purpose of this group-randomized trial is to assess PF as an intervention to improve the delivery of chronic illness care in primary care. Methods A randomized trial of 40 small primary care practices who were randomized to an initial or a delayed intervention (control) group. Trained practice facilitators worked with each practice for one year to implement tailored changes to improve delivery of diabetes care within the Chronic Care Model framework. The Assessment of Chronic Illness Care (ACIC) survey was administered at baseline and at one-year intervals to clinicians and staff in both groups of practices. Repeated-measures analyses of variance were used to assess the main effects (mean differences between groups) and the within-group change over time. Results There was significant improvement in ACIC scores (p < 0.05) within initial intervention practices, from 5.58 (SD 1.89) to 6.33 (SD 1.50), compared to the delayed intervention (control) practices where there was a small decline, from 5.56 (SD 1.54) to 5.27 (SD 1.62). The increase in ACIC scores was sustained one year after withdrawal of the PF intervention in the initial intervention group, from 6.33 (SD 1.50) to 6.60 (SD 1.94), and improved in the delayed intervention (control) practices during their one year of PF intervention, from 5.27 (SD 1.62) to 5.99 (SD 1.75). Conclusions Practice facilitation resulted in a significant and sustained improvement in delivery of care consistent with the CCM as reported by those involved in direct patient care in small primary care practices. The impact of the observed change on clinical outcomes remains uncertain. Trial registration This protocol followed the CONSORT guidelines and is registered per ICMJE guidelines
van der Bij, Sjoukje; Khan, Nasra; Ten Veen, Petra; de Bakker, Dinny H; Verheij, Robert A
Electronic health record (EHR) data are used to exchange information among health care providers. For this purpose, the quality of the data is essential. We developed a data quality feedback tool that evaluates differences in EHR data quality among practices and software packages as part of a larger intervention. The tool was applied in 92 practices in the Netherlands using different software packages. Practices received data quality feedback in 2010 and 2012. We observed large differences in the quality of recording. For example, the percentage of episodes of care that had a meaningful diagnostic code ranged from 30% to 100%. Differences were highly related to the software package. A year after the first measurement, the quality of recording had improved significantly and differences decreased, with 67% of the physicians indicating that they had actively changed their recording habits based on the results of the first measurement. About 80% found the feedback helpful in pinpointing recording problems. One of the software vendors made changes in functionality as a result of the feedback. Our EHR data quality feedback tool is capable of highlighting differences among practices and software packages. As such, it also stimulates improvements. As substantial variability in recording is related to the software package, our study strengthens the evidence that data quality can be improved substantially by standardizing the functionalities of EHR software packages. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Medical Informatics Association. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Ma, Jun; Yank, Veronica; Lv, Nan; Goldhaber-Fiebert, Jeremy D; Lewis, Megan A; Kramer, M Kaye; Snowden, Mark B; Rosas, Lisa G; Xiao, Lan; Blonstein, Andrea C
Effective interventions targeting comorbid obesity and depression are critical given the increasing prevalence and worsened outcomes for patients with both conditions. RAINBOW is a type 1 hybrid design randomized controlled trial. The objective is to evaluate the clinical and cost effectiveness and implementation potential of an integrated, technology-enhanced, collaborative care model for treating comorbid obesity and depression in primary care. Obese and depressed adults (n = 404) will be randomized to usual care enhanced with the provision of a pedometer and information about the health system's services for mood or weight management (control) or with the Integrated Coaching for Better Mood and Weight (I-CARE) program (intervention). The 12-month I-CARE program synergistically integrates two proven behavioral interventions: problem-solving therapy with as-needed intensification of pharmacotherapy for depression (PEARLS) and standardized behavioral treatment for obesity (Group Lifestyle Balance(™)). It utilizes traditional (e.g., office visits and phone consults) and emerging care delivery modalities (e.g., patient web portal and mobile applications). Follow-up assessments will occur at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. We hypothesize that compared with controls, I-CARE participants will have greater improvements in weight and depression severity measured by the 20-item Depression Symptom Checklist at 12 months, which will be sustained at 24 months. We will also assess I-CARE's cost-effectiveness and use mixed methods to examine its potential for reach, adoption, implementation, and maintenance. This study offers the potential to change how obese and depressed adults are treated-through a new model of accessible and integrative lifestyle medicine and mental health expertise-in primary care.
Chavannes, Niels H; Grijsen, Marlous; van den Akker, Marjan; Schepers, Huub; Nijdam, Maddy; Tiep, Brian; Muris, Jean
AIMD: To assess the long-term effectiveness of an integrated disease management (IDM) program (consisting of optimal medication, reactivation, education, and exacerbation management) in primary care patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Controlled trial comparing the effects of IDM on quality of life--assessed by the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ)--in primary care COPD patients. The minimal clinically important change on the SGRQ was accepted as being -4 points. Baseline and one year differences were compared using paired sample T-tests. The differential effects of an FEV1/FVC ratio <0.7 and dyspnoea as assessed by the Medical Research Council (MRC) Dyspnoea scale were investigated. The average age of subjects was 63 years, with an average post-bronchodilator FEV1 of 67% predicted, average FEV1/FVC ratio of 0.65, a mean of 35 pack-years smoking, and 63% were male. No significant differences existed between groups at baseline. After one year of IDM, SGRQ had improved by -4.6 points (95% CI, -7.2 to -2.0; p=0.001) in the intervention group, versus -0.7 points (95% CI, - 3.0 to 1.6; p=0.6) in the usual care group. In patients with an FEV1/FVC ratio <0.7, SGRQ improved by -5.9 points (95% CI, -9.6 to -2.2; p=0.002) in the IDM group, while in the usual care group SGRQ improved by -0.8 points (95% CI, -4.1 to 2.4; p=0.6). In patients with an MRC Dyspnoea score >2 and FEV1/FVC <0.7, SGRQ improved by -13.4 points (95% CI, -20.8 to -6.1; p=0.002) in the IDM group, versus -0.3 points (95% CI, -5.5 to 4.9; p=0.9) in the usual care group. In this study, IDM improved one-year quality of life in primary care COPD patients, compared to usual care. The improvement in SGRQ was both clinically relevant and statistically significant, and was greatest in patients with FEV1/FVC <0.7 and MRC Dyspnoea score >2.
Over the past decade, at least 600,000 refugees from more than 60 different countries have been resettled in the United States. The personal history of a refugee is often marked by physical and emotional trauma. Although refugees come from many different countries and cultures, their shared pattern of experiences allows for some generalizations to be made about their health care needs and challenges. Before being accepted for resettlement in the United States, all refugees must pass an overseas medical screening examination, the purpose of which is to identify conditions that could result in ineligibility for admission to the United States. Primary care physicians have the opportunity to care for members of this unique population once they resettle. Refugees present to primary care physicians with a variety of health problems, including musculoskeletal and pain issues, mental and social health problems, infectious diseases, and longstanding undiagnosed chronic illnesses. Important infectious diseases to consider in the symptomatic patient include tuberculosis, parasites, and malaria. Health maintenance and immunizations should also be addressed. Language barriers, cross-cultural medicine issues, and low levels of health literacy provide additional challenges to caring for this population. The purpose of this article is to provide primary care physicians with a guide to some of the common issues that arise when caring for refugee patients.
Haddad, Marwan S; Zelenev, Alexei; Altice, Frederick L
Buprenorphine maintenance therapy (BMT) expands treatment access for opioid dependence and can be integrated into primary health-care settings. Treating opioid dependence, however, should ideally improve other aspects of overall health, including preventive services. Therefore, we examined how BMT affects preventive health-care outcomes, specifically nine nationally recommended primary care quality health-care indicators (QHIs), within federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) from an observational cohort study of 266 opioid-dependent patients initiating BMT between 07/01/07 and 11/30/08 within Connecticut's largest FQHC network. Nine nationally recommended preventive QHIs were collected longitudinally from electronic health records, including screening for chronic infections, metabolic conditions, and cancer. A composite QHI score (QHI-S), based on the percentage of eligible QHIs achieved, was categorized as QHI-S ≥80% (recommended) and ≥90% (optimal). The proportion of subjects achieving a composite QHI-S ≥80 and ≥90 % was 57.1 and 28.6%, respectively. Screening was highest for hypertension (91.0%), hepatitis C (80.1%), hepatitis B (76.3%), human immunodeficiency virus (71.4%), and hyperlipidemia (72.9%) and lower for syphilis (49.3%) and cervical (58.5%), breast (44.4%), and colorectal (48.7%) cancer. Achieving QHI-S ≥80% was positively and independently associated with ≥3-month BMT retention (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.19; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.18-4.04) and BMT prescription by primary care providers (PCPs) rather than addiction psychiatric specialists (AOR = 3.38; 95% CI = 1.78-6.37), and negatively with being female (AOR = 0.30; 95% CI = 0.16-0.55). Within primary health-care settings, achieving greater nationally recommended health-care screenings or QHIs was associated with being able to successfully retain patients on buprenorphine longer (3 months or more) and when buprenorphine was prescribed
Sullivan, F M; Shamlaye, C
This paper describes some of the current health problems faced by a tropical country whose standard of living and lifestyle is approaching that of many countries in Western Europe. Long-term health problems such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes have become at least as important as infectious diseases. A change in approach to a more proactive style of primary care is needed to allow the contribution of community doctors to be effective. The system of primary care in the Republic of Seychelles is based on the UK model of general practice where recent improvements in education and organization are raising standards. How some of these improvements might be transferred elsewhere is discussed.
Lewin, Linda Orkin; Singh, Mamta; Bateman, Betzi L; Glover, Pamela Bligh
Standardizing the experiences of medical students in a community preceptorship where clinical sites vary by geography and discipline can be challenging. Computer-assisted learning is prevalent in medical education and can help standardize experiences, but often is not used to its fullest advantage. A blended learning curriculum combining web-based modules with face-to-face learning can ensure students obtain core curricular principles. This course was developed and used at The Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and its associated preceptorship sites in the greater Cleveland area. Leaders of a two-year elective continuity experience at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine used adult learning principles to develop four interactive online modules presenting basics of office practice, difficult patient interviews, common primary care diagnoses, and disease prevention. They can be viewed at (http://casemed.case.edu/cpcp/curriculum). Students completed surveys rating the content and technical performance of each module and completed a Generalist OSCE exam at the end of the course. Participating students rated all aspects of the course highly; particularly those related to charting and direct patient care. Additionally, they scored very well on the Generalist OSCE exam. Students found the web-based modules to be valuable and to enhance their clinical learning. The blended learning model is a useful tool in designing web-based curriculum for enhancing the clinical curriculum of medical students.
Lewin, Linda Orkin; Singh, Mamta; Bateman, Betzi L; Glover, Pamela Bligh
Background Standardizing the experiences of medical students in a community preceptorship where clinical sites vary by geography and discipline can be challenging. Computer-assisted learning is prevalent in medical education and can help standardize experiences, but often is not used to its fullest advantage. A blended learning curriculum combining web-based modules with face-to-face learning can ensure students obtain core curricular principles. Methods This course was developed and used at The Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and its associated preceptorship sites in the greater Cleveland area. Leaders of a two-year elective continuity experience at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine used adult learning principles to develop four interactive online modules presenting basics of office practice, difficult patient interviews, common primary care diagnoses, and disease prevention. They can be viewed at . Students completed surveys rating the content and technical performance of each module and completed a Generalist OSCE exam at the end of the course. Results Participating students rated all aspects of the course highly; particularly those related to charting and direct patient care. Additionally, they scored very well on the Generalist OSCE exam. Conclusion Students found the web-based modules to be valuable and to enhance their clinical learning. The blended learning model is a useful tool in designing web-based curriculum for enhancing the clinical curriculum of medical students. PMID:19515243
van Rijsingen, Margit C J; Vossen, Robin; van Huystee, Barbara E W L; Gorgels, Wim J M J; Gerritsen, Marie-Jeanne P
Due to a rapid increase in the incidence of skin cancer, it seems inevitable that general practitioners (GPs) will play a larger role in skin cancer care. To assess surgical procedures used by GPs in skin tumour management. We performed a retrospective study of 1,898 pathology reports of skin tumours excised by GPs in 2009. In 22.9% no diagnosis was provided on the application form. Mostly, once-off excisions (no preceding biopsy) were performed, 7% of the excised lesions were malignant, and 35% of incisions were incomplete. Excisions in the face and neck region were incomplete in 65.4%; 22% of melanomas were biopsied or shaved. This study underlines the difficulties in skin tumour management in primary care. To stimulate adequate resource use, the number of excisions of benign lesions could be lowered, and pretreatment biopsy in non-melanoma skin cancer management should be encouraged. GPs should be aware of their limitations and consider referral of high-risk malignancies.
Martín-Madrazo, Carmen; Soto-Díaz, Sonia; Cañada-Dorado, Asuncion; Salinero-Fort, Miguel Angel; Medina-Fernández, Manuela; Carrillo de Santa Pau, Enrique; Gómez-Campelo, Paloma; Abánades-Herranz, Juan Carlos
To evaluate the effectiveness of a multimodal intervention in primary care health professionals for improved compliance with hand hygiene practice, based on the World Health Organization's 5 Moments for Health Hygiene. Cluster randomized trial, parallel 2-group study (intervention and control). Primary healthcare centers in Madrid, Spain. Eleven healthcare centers with 198 healthcare workers (general practitioners, nurses, pediatricians, auxiliary nurses, midwives, odontostomatologists, and dental hygienists). Methods. The multimodal hand hygiene improvement strategy consisted of training of healthcare workers by teaching sessions, implementation of hydroalcoholic solutions, and installation of reminder posters. The hand hygiene compliance level was evaluated by observation during regular care activities in the office visit setting, at the baseline moment, and 6 months after the intervention, all by a single external observer. The overall baseline compliance level was 8.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.2-10.1), and the healthcare workers of the intervention group increased their hand hygiene compliance level by 21.6% (95% CI, 13.83-28.48) compared with the control group. This study has demonstrated that hand hygiene compliance in primary healthcare workers can be improved with a multimodal hand hygiene improvement strategy.
Wilcock, Peter M; Campion-Smith, Charles; Head, Michael
There is a need to develop models of practice-based learning that are effective in bringing about improvement in the quality of care that patients receive. This paper describes a facilitated practice-based project where five general practices in Dorset formed interprofessional teams that worked over a six-month period using a continuous quality improvement (CQI) approach to make a change in areas of importance to them. All the teams completed the project and planned and implemented demonstrable changes. Qualitative enquiry showed changes in relationships and teamworking that extended beyond the specific topic of the project with teams reporting an enhanced sense of competence and achievement. The project facilitators were able to develop a model of learning that acknowledges and utilises the depth of experience and understanding within interprofessional practice teams. Protected time and an environment and processes that encourage full partcipation of a wide range of team members is essential. PMID:12389771
Wilcock, Peter M; Campion-Smith, Charles; Head, Michael
There is a need to develop models of practice-based learning that are effective in bringing about improvement in the quality of care that patients receive. This paper describes a facilitated practice-based project where five general practices in Dorset formed interprofessional teams that worked over a six-month period using a continuous quality improvement (CQI) approach to make a change in areas of importance to them. All the teams completed the project and planned and implemented demonstrable changes. Qualitative enquiry showed changes in relationships and teamworking that extended beyond the specific topic of the project with teams reporting an enhanced sense of competence and achievement. The project facilitators were able to develop a model of learning that acknowledges and utilises the depth of experience and understanding within interprofessional practice teams. Protected time and an environment and processes that encourage full partcipation of a wide range of team members is essential.
Jenner, Christopher O
Transsexual presentations in primary care stress mainstream health care physical resources, institutional organization, and the cultural flexibility of providers and interdisciplinary staff. This article describes the ethical landscape, examines gender identity culture, and considers gender reassignment physiology. Nurse practitioners are challenged to advocate for this population. Sources for the discussion derive from published institutional guidelines, institutional and civic policies, web-based information in the public domain, and professional journal articles. Advocacy for cultural sensitivity, institutional policy change,and professional integrity will determine healthcare quality for this population. Advocacy for cultural awareness and institutional change has begun in larger institutions and metropolitan areas, but is necessary across primary care settings. Caring for transsexuals requires knowledge of anatomical reassignments, hormonal therapy effects, and cultural sensitivities particular to the gender identity community. Healthcare screening and physical exam modifications for these presentations require forethought and appropriate adjustments.
Nguyen, Douglas L; DeJesus, Ramona S
There are multiple challenges to proactive diabetic management in minority, non-English speaking populations. In this study, we seek to determine if enrollment in a home health care program would improve diabetic outcomes in this traditionally vulnerable population. Of the 64 non-English speaking diabetics evaluated in our clinic between 1/1/2002 and 12/30/2005, 26 (40.6%) patients who met the criteria for poor glycemic control (defined by HgbA1c > 8% on two separate occasions) were identified, but three were excluded because they did not participate in home health. Comparing diabetic outcomes 24 months post-home health intervention to 24 months prior, patients showed improvement in mean HbA1c, mean LDL, and mean systolic blood pressure. With home health intervention, there appears to be improved diabetic outcomes across all measured parameters.
Background Primary care provides most of the evidence-based chronic disease prevention and screening services offered by the healthcare system. However, there remains a gap between recommended preventive services and actual practice. This trial (the BETTER Trial) aimed to improve preventive care of heart disease, diabetes, colorectal, breast and cervical cancers, and relevant lifestyle factors through a practice facilitation intervention set in primary care. Methods Pragmatic two-way factorial cluster RCT with Primary Care Physicians’ practices as the unit of allocation and individual patients as the unit of analysis. The setting was urban Primary Care Team practices in two Canadian provinces. Eight Primary Care Team practices were randomly assigned to receive the practice-level intervention or wait-list control; 4 physicians in each team (32 physicians) were randomly assigned to receive the patient-level intervention or wait-list control. Patients randomly selected from physicians’ rosters were stratified into two groups: 1) general and 2) moderate mental illness. The interventions involved a multifaceted, evidence-based, tailored practice-level intervention with a Practice Facilitator, and a patient-level intervention involving a one-hour visit with a Prevention Practitioner where patients received a tailored ‘prevention prescription’. The primary outcome was a composite Summary Quality Index of 28 evidence-based chronic disease prevention and screening actions with pre-defined targets, expressed as the ratio of eligible actions at baseline that were met at follow-up. A cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted. Results 789 of 1,260 (63%) eligible patients participated. On average, patients were eligible for 8.96 (SD 3.2) actions at baseline. In the adjusted analysis, control patients met 23.1% (95% CI: 19.2% to 27.1%) of target actions, compared to 28.5% (95% CI: 20.9% to 36.0%) receiving the practice-level intervention, 55.6% (95% CI: 49.0% to 62
Shah, Smita; Sawyer, Susan M; Toelle, Brett G; Mellis, Craig M; Peat, Jennifer K; Lagleva, Marivic; Usherwood, Timothy P; Jenkins, Christine R
To evaluate the effectiveness of the Practitioner Asthma Communication and Education (PACE) Australia program, an innovative communication and paediatric asthma management program for general practitioners. Randomised controlled trial. General practices from two regions in metropolitan Sydney. 150 GPs, who were recruited between 2006 and 2008, and 221 children with asthma in their care. GPs in the intervention group participated in two 3-hour workshops, focusing on communication and education strategies to facilitate quality asthma care. Patient outcomes included receipt of a written asthma action plan (WAAP), appropriate medication use, parent days away from work, and child days away from school or child care. GP outcomes included frequency of providing a WAAP and patient education, communication and teaching behaviour, and adherence to national asthma guidelines regarding medication use. More patients of GPs in the intervention group reported receipt of a WAAP (difference, 15%; 95% CI, 2% to 28%; adjusted P=0.046). In the intervention group, children with infrequent intermittent asthma symptoms had lower use of inhaled corticosteroids (difference, 24%; 95% CI, -43% to -5%; P=0.03) and long-acting bronchodilators (difference, 19%; 95% CI, -34% to -5%; P=0.02). GPs in the intervention group were more confident when communicating with patients (difference 22%; 95% CI, 3% to 40%; P=0.03). A higher proportion of GPs in the intervention group reported providing a WAAP more than 70% of the time (difference, 23%; 95% CI, 11% to 36%; adjusted P=0.002) and prescribing spacer devices more than 90% of the time (difference, 29%; 95% CI, 16% to 42%; adjusted P=0.02). The PACE Australia program improved GPs' asthma management practices and led to improvements in some important patient outcomes. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12607000067471.
Tsang, Jung Yin; Blakeman, Tom; Hegarty, Janet; Humphreys, John; Harvey, Gill
, generating more work. Thirdly, ownership of the feedback process allowed users to make individualised improvements to the intervention to suit their needs. Our rapid realist review identified mechanisms that need to be considered in order to optimise the implementation of interventions to improve the management of CKD in primary care. Further research into the factors that enable prolonged sustainability and cost-effectiveness is required for efficient resource utilisation.
Rotar Pavlič, Danica; Zelko, Erika; Vintges, Marga; Willems, Sara; Hanssens, Lise
Abstract Roma populations’ low health status and limited access to health services, including primary care, has been documented in many European countries, and warrants specific health policies and practices. A variety of experiences shows how primary care can adjust its practices to reduce the barriers to primary care for Roma populations. At local level, establishing collaboration with Roma organisations helps primary care to improve mutual relations and quality of care. Mediation has proved to be an effective tool. Skills training of primary care practitioners may enhance their individual competences. Research and international sharing of experiences are further tools to improve primary care for the Roma people. PMID:27703542
Sheline, Barbara; Tran, Anh N; Jackson, Joseph; Peyser, Bruce; Rogers, Susan; Engle, Deborah
Physicians need training in community engagement, leadership, and population health to prepare them to work with partners within the community and to adapt medical care to address population health needs. With an overall goal of training primary care practitioners to be change agents for improving population health, the Duke University School of Medicine launched the Primary Care Leadership Track (PCLT) in 2011. The four-year PCLT curriculum requires students to contribute to existing community health initiatives, perform community-engaged research, and participate in leadership training. The clinical curriculum incorporates a longitudinal approach to allow students to follow patient outcomes. In addition, students regularly interact with faculty to explore population health issues, review patient cases, and adjust individual learning opportunities as needed. The first cohort of PCLT students will graduate in 2015. Prospective comparisons with traditional track students are planned on performance on standardized tests and career choices. The authors created the PCLT as a laboratory in which students can engage with the community and explore solutions to address the health of the public and the future delivery of health care. To meet the goal of training change agents, PCLT leaders need to expand opportunities for students to learn from providers and organizations that are successfully bridging the gap between medical care and public health.
Ma, Jun; Yank, Veronica; Lv, Nan; Goldhaber-Fiebert, Jeremy D.; Lewis, Megan A.; Kramer, M. Kaye; Snowden, Mark B.; Rosas, Lisa G.; Xiao, Lan; Blonstein, Andrea C.
Effective interventions targeting comorbid obesity and depression are critical given the increasing prevalence and worsened outcomes for patients with both conditions. RAINBOW is a type 1 hybrid design randomized controlled trial. The objective is to evaluate the clinical and cost effectiveness and implementation potential of an integrated, technology-enhanced, collaborative care model for treating comorbid obesity and depression in primary care. Obese and depressed adults (n=404) will be randomized to usual care enhanced with the provision of a pedometer and information about the health system’s services for mood or weight management (control) or with the Integrated Coaching for Better Mood and Weight (I-CARE) program (intervention). The 12-month I-CARE program synergistically integrates two proven behavioral interventions: problem-solving therapy with as-needed intensification of pharmacotherapy for depression (PEARLS) and standardized behavioral treatment for obesity (Group Lifestyle Balance™). It utilizes traditional (e.g., office visits and phone consults) and emerging care delivery modalities (e.g., patient web portal and mobile applications). Follow-up assessments will occur at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. We hypothesize that compared with controls, I-CARE participants will have greater improvements in weight and depression severity measured by the 20-item Depression Symptom Checklist at 12 months, which will be sustained at 24 months. We will also assess I-CARE’s cost-effectiveness and use mixed methods to examine its potential for reach, adoption, implementation, and maintenance. This study offers the potential to change how obese and depressed adults are treated—through a new model of accessible and integrative lifestyle medicine and mental health expertise—in primary care. PMID:26096714
Grant, Sabrina; Greenfield, Sheila M; Nouwen, Arie; McManus, Richard J
Background Self-monitoring blood pressure (SMBP) is becoming an increasingly prevalent practice in UK primary care, yet there remains little conceptual understanding of why patients with hypertension engage in self-monitoring. Aim To identify psychological factors or processes prompting the decision to self-monitor blood pressure. Design and setting A qualitative study of patients previously participating in a survey study about SMBP from four general practices in the West Midlands. Method Taped and transcribed in-depth interviews with 16 patients (6 currently monitoring, 2 used to self-monitor, and 8 had never self-monitored). Thematic analysis was undertaken. Results Three main themes emerged: ‘self’ and ‘living with hypertension’ described the emotional element of living with an asymptomatic condition; ‘self-monitoring behaviour and medication’ described overall views about self-monitoring, current practice, reasons for monitoring, and the impact on medication adherence; and ‘the GP–patient transaction’ described the power relations affecting decisions to self-monitor. Self-monitoring was performed by some as a protective tool against the fears of a silent but serious condition, whereas others self-monitor simply out of curiosity. People who self-monitored tended not to discuss this with their nurse or GP, partly due to perceiving minimal or no interest from their clinician about home monitoring, and partly due to fear of being prescribed additional medication. Conclusion The decision to self-monitor appeared often to be an individual choice with no schedule or systems to integrate it with other medical care. Better recognition by clinicians that patients are self-monitoring, perhaps utilising the results in shared decision-making, might help integrate it into daily practice. PMID:26500326
Boas, Samuel J; Bishop, Tara F; Ryan, Andrew M; Shih, Sarah C; Casalino, Lawrence P
In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act apportioned $643 million for a Health Information Technology Extension Program, which established Regional Extension Centers (RECs) to support the implementation and use of electronic health records (EHRs). Little is known, however, about how RECs should assist in EHR implementation and how they should structure ongoing support. The purpose of this paper is to describe physicians' experiences with the Primary Care Information Project (PCIP), an REC run by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. We interviewed 17 physicians enrolled in PCIP to understand the role of the EHRon quality of care and their experience with technical assistance from PCIP. All physicians stated that they felt that the EHR improved the quality of care they delivered to their patients particularly because it helped them track patients. All the physicians found technical assistance helpful but most wanted ongoing assistance months or years after they adopted the EHR. © 2013 Published by Elsevier Inc.
Lisspers, Karin; Johansson, Gunnar; Jansson, Christer; Larsson, Kjell; Stratelis, Georgios; Hedegaard, Morten; Ställberg, Björn
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) guidelines emphasize the importance of patient education to improve quality of life and avoid exacerbations. Longitudinal evaluations of structured management of COPD in primary care are lacking. To evaluate the impact of primary care asthma/COPD clinics on exacerbations, hospitalizations, and associated costs in COPD. This population-based, retrospective, observational study, linking primary care medical records data to mandatory Swedish national registries, included patients with COPD from 76 primary healthcare centers (1999-2009). A questionnaire on access to an asthma/COPD clinic was retrospectively answered. Propensity score matching was performed at index (COPD diagnosis) by center type (with and without an asthma/COPD clinic). Poisson regression was used to compare the yearly rate of exacerbations (hospitalization, emergency visits, or prescription for oral steroids or antibiotics) and COPD-related prescriptions at the centers. An economic analysis was performed from the Swedish healthcare perspective using 2011 unit costs and the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was calculated. The study included 21,361 patients (mean age, 68.0 years; 53% female). Access to asthma/COPD clinics increased from 34% to 85% during the study period. Patients at primary healthcare centers with asthma/COPD clinics had 27% fewer exacerbations (0.71 vs. 0.98) and 37% fewer hospitalizations annually (0.36 vs. 0.58) (p < 0.0001). Asthma/COPD clinics reduced the annual cost of medication and healthcare contacts by 37% (SEK 52,892 [€5858] to SEK 33,410 [€3700] per patient). Patients at primary healthcare centers with asthma/COPD clinics experienced fewer COPD exacerbations and hospitalizations, and overall treatment costs were substantially reduced. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01146392. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Dahm-Kähler, Pernilla; Palmqvist, Charlotte; Staf, Christian; Holmberg, Erik; Johannesson, Liza
To evaluate centralized primary care of advanced ovarian and fallopian tube cancers in a complete population cohort in relation to complete cytoreduction, time interval from surgery to chemotherapy and relative survival. A regional population-based cohort study of women diagnosed with primary ovarian and fallopian tube cancers and included in the Swedish Quality Registry (SQR) during 2008-2013 in a region where primary care of advanced stages was centralized in 2011. Surgical, oncological characteristics, outcomes, follow-ups and relative survivals were analyzed. There were 817 women diagnosed with ovarian and fallopian tube cancers during 2008-2013 and 523 were classified as FIGO stage III-IV and further analyzed. Primary debulking surgery (PDS) was performed in 81% and neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) followed by interval debulking surgery (IDS) in 11%. Complete cytoreduction at PDS was performed in 37% before compared to 49% after centralization (p<0.03). The chemotherapy protocols were identical in the cohorts and they received and completed the planned chemotherapy equally. The time interval between PDS and chemotherapy was 36days (median) before compared to 24days after centralization (p<0.01). The relative 3-year survival rate in women treated by PDS was 44% compared to 65% after centralization and the estimated excess mortality rate ratio (EMRR) was reduced (RR 0.58; 95% CI 0.42-0.79). Comparing the complete cohorts before and after centralization, regardless primary treatment, the relative 3-year survival rate increased from 40% to 61% with reduced EMRR (RR 0.59; 95% CI 0.45-0.76). Centralized primary care of advanced ovarian and fallopian tube cancers increases complete cytoreduction, decreases time interval from PDS to chemotherapy and improves relative survival significantly. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Woods, Cindy; Carlisle, Karen; Larkins, Sarah; Thompson, Sandra Claire; Tsey, Komla; Matthews, Veronica; Bailie, Ross
Continuous Quality Improvement is a process for raising the quality of primary health care (PHC) across Indigenous PHC services. In addition to clinical auditing using plan, do, study, and act cycles, engaging staff in a process of reflecting on systems to support quality care is vital. The One21seventy Systems Assessment Tool (SAT) supports staff to assess systems performance in terms of five key components. This study examines quantitative and qualitative SAT data from five high-improving Indigenous PHC services in northern Australia to understand the systems used to support quality care. High-improving services selected for the study were determined by calculating quality of care indices for Indigenous health services participating in the Audit and Best Practice in Chronic Disease National Research Partnership. Services that reported continuing high improvement in quality of care delivered across two or more audit tools in three or more audits were selected for the study. Precollected SAT data (from annual team SAT meetings) are presented longitudinally using radar plots for quantitative scores for each component, and content analysis is used to describe strengths and weaknesses of performance in each systems' component. High-improving services were able to demonstrate strong processes for assessing system performance and consistent improvement in systems to support quality care across components. Key strengths in the quality support systems included adequate and orientated workforce, appropriate health system supports, and engagement with other organizations and community, while the weaknesses included lack of service infrastructure, recruitment, retention, and support for staff and additional costs. Qualitative data revealed clear voices from health service staff expressing concerns with performance, and subsequent SAT data provided evidence of changes made to address concerns. Learning from the processes and strengths of high-improving services may be useful
Leopold, N; Cooper, J; Clancy, C
In 1994, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) convened the Committee on the Future of Primary Care to provide a clearer understanding of the essential and desirable attributes of primary care. Perhaps the committee's most striking addition to the IOM's 1978 definition was the concept that primary care includes a sustained partnership with patients. Development of the partnership is considered an explicit responsibility of the primary care clinician. Although there is an extensive and growing body of literature on the effects of clinician-patient communication on outcomes such as patient satisfaction, adherence, symptom abatement, and physiological measures of health status, the impact of a sustained partnership in a clinician-patient relationship remains largely unstudied. There is also no consensus regarding either the definition or achievement of a sustained partnership. This paper reviews selected relevant literature and proposes a theoretical basis for assessing the existence, antecedents, and outcomes of sustained partnerships between clinicians and patients. At a time when there is increased discussion and clarification of optimal clinician and patient roles in a rapidly evolving health care delivery system, we believe this mode can provide guidance to clinicians and provider organizations seeking to improve the quality of primary care.
Brown, Judith Belle; French, Reta; McCulloch, Amy; Clendinning, Eric
Abstract Objective To explore the knowledge and perceptions of fourth-year medical students regarding the new models of primary health care (PHC) and to ascertain whether that knowledge influenced their decisions to pursue careers in family medicine. Design Qualitative study using semistructured interviews. Setting The Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at The University of Western Ontario in London. Participants Fourth-year medical students graduating in 2009 who indicated family medicine as a possible career choice on their Canadian Residency Matching Service applications. Methods Eleven semistructured interviews were conducted between January and April of 2009. Data were analyzed using an iterative and interpretive approach. The analysis strategy of immersion and crystallization assisted in synthesizing the data to provide a comprehensive view of key themes and overarching concepts. Main findings Four key themes were identified: the level of students’ knowledge regarding PHC models varied; the knowledge was generally obtained from practical experiences rather than classroom learning; students could identify both advantages and disadvantages of working within the new PHC models; and although students regarded the new PHC models positively, these models did not influence their decisions to pursue careers in family medicine. Conclusion Knowledge of the new PHC models varies among fourth-year students, indicating a need for improved education strategies in the years before clinical training. Being able to identify advantages and disadvantages of the PHC models was not enough to influence participants’ choice of specialty. Educators and health care policy makers need to determine the best methods to promote and facilitate knowledge transfer about these PHC models. PMID:22518904
Mao, Jun J.; Kapur, Rahul
Synopsis Acupuncture is an ancient traditional Chinese medical therapy that is used widely around the world. When practiced by a certified provider, it is safe and often perceived as calming and relaxing for patients. Animal and human studies have found a physiological basis for acupuncture needling in that it affects the complex central and peripheral neuro-hormonal network. Although it is unclear whether acupuncture is beneficial over sham/placebo acupuncture, acupuncture care yields clinically relevant short- and long-term benefits for low back pain, knee osteoarthritis, chronic neck pain, and headache. The integration of acupuncture into a primary care setting also appears to be cost-effective. Furthermore, the practice of acupuncture in primary care involves rigorous training, financial discipline, and art of communication. When it is done correctly, acupuncture proves to be beneficial for both patients and providers. PMID:20189001
Stults, Cheryl D; McCuistion, Mary H; Frosch, Dominick L; Hung, Dorothy Y; Cheng, Peter H; Tai-Seale, Ming
The Affordable Care Act has extended coverage for uninsured and underinsured Americans, but it could exacerbate existing problems of access to primary care. Shared medical appointments (SMAs) are one way to improve access and increase practice productivity, but few studies have examined the patient's perspective on participation in SMAs. To understand patient experiences, 5 focus group sessions were conducted with a total of 30 people in the San Francisco Bay Area. The sessions revealed that most participants felt that they received numerous tangible and intangible benefits from SMAs, particularly enhanced engagement with other patients and physicians, learning, and motivation for health behavior change. Most importantly, participants noted changes in the power dynamic during SMA visits as they increasingly saw themselves empowered to impart information to the physician. Although SMAs improve access, engagement with physicians and other patients, and knowledge of patients' health, they also help to ease the workload for physicians.
Hussein, Norita; Kai, Joe; Qureshi, Nadeem
Reproductive health and pregnancy outcomes may be improved if the reproductive risk assessment is moved from the antenatal to the preconception period. Primary care has been highlighted as an ideal setting to offer preconception assessment, yet the effectiveness in this setting is still unclear. To evaluate the effectiveness of preconception interventions on improving reproductive health and pregnancy outcomes in primary care. MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE and PsycINFO databases were searched from July 1999 to the end of July 2015. Only interventional studies with a comparator were included, analysed and appraised systematically, taking into consideration the similarities and differences of the participants, the nature of interventions and settings. Eight randomized controlled trials were eligible. Preconception interventions involved multifactorial or single reproductive health risk assessment, education and counselling and the intensity ranged from brief, involving a single session within a day to intensive, involving more than one session over several weeks. Five studies recruited women planning a pregnancy. Four studies involved multifactorial risks interventions; two were brief and the others were intensive. Four studies involved single risk intervention, addressing folate or alcohol. There was some evidence that both multifactorial and single risk interventions improved maternal knowledge; self-efficacy and health locus of control; and risk behaviour, irrespective of whether brief or intensive. There was no evidence to support reduced adverse pregnancy outcomes. One study reported no undue anxiety. The quality of the studies was moderate to poor. The evidence from eligible studies is limited to inform future practice in primary care. Nevertheless, this review has highlighted that women who received preconception education and counselling were more likely to have improved knowledge, self-efficacy and health locus of control and risk behaviour. More studies are
van der Velden, Alike W; Kuyvenhoven, Marijke M; Verheij, Theo J M
Antibiotic overprescribing is a significant problem. Multifaceted interventions improved antibiotic prescribing quality; their implementation and sustainability, however, have proved difficult. We analysed the effectiveness of an intervention embedded in the quality cycle of primary care practice accreditation on quantity and quality of antibiotic prescribing for respiratory tract and ear infections (RTIs). This was a pragmatic, cluster-randomized intervention trial in 88 Dutch primary care practices. The intervention (physician education and audit/feedback on antibiotic prescribing quantity and quality) was integrated in practice accreditation by defining an improvement plan with respect to antibiotic prescribing for RTIs. Numbers and types of dispensed antibiotics were analysed from 1 year prior to the intervention to 2 years after the intervention (pharmacy data). Overprescribing, underprescribing and non-first-choice prescribing for RTIs were analysed at baseline and 1 year later (self-registration). There were significant differences between intervention and control practices in the changes in dispensed antibiotics/1000 registered patients (first year: -7.6% versus -0.4%, P = 0.002; second year: -4.3% versus +2%, P = 0.015), which was more pronounced for macrolides and amoxicillin/clavulanate (first year: -12.7% versus +2.9%, P = 0.001; second year: -7.8% versus +6.7%, P = 0.005). Overprescribing for RTIs decreased from 44% of prescriptions to 28% (P < 0.001). Most general practitioners (GPs) envisaged practice accreditation as a tool for guideline implementation. GP education and an audited improvement plan around antibiotics for RTIs as part of primary care practice accreditation sustainably improved antibiotic prescribing. Tools should be sought to further integrate and facilitate education and audit/feedback in practice accreditation. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for
Vachon, Brigitte; Désorcy, Bruno; Camirand, Michel; Rodrigue, Jean; Quesnel, Louise; Guimond, Claude; Labelle, Martin; Fournier, Johanne; Grimshaw, Jeremy
The scientific literature continues to advocate interprofessional collaboration (IPC) as a key component of primary care. It is recommended that primary care groups be created and configured to meet the healthcare needs of the patient population, as defined by patient demographics and other data analyses related to the health of the population being served. It is further recommended that the improvement of primary care services be supported by the delivery of feedback and performance measurements. This paper describes the theory underlying an interprofessional educational intervention developed in Quebec's Montérégie region (Canada) for the purpose of improving chronic disease management in primary care. The objectives of this study were to explain explicitly the theory underlying this intervention, to describe its components in detail and to assess the intervention's feasibility and acceptability. A program impact theory-driven evaluation approach was used. Multiple sources of information were examined to make explicit the theory underlying the education intervention: 1) a literature review and a review of documents describing the program's development; 2) regular attendance at the project's committee meetings; 3) direct observation of the workshops; 4) interviews of workshop participants; and 5) focus groups with workshop facilitators. Qualitative data collected were analysed using thematic analysis. The theoretical basis of the interprofessional education intervention was found to be work motivation theory and reflective learning. Five themes describing the workshop objectives emerged from the qualitative analysis of the interviews conducted with the workshop participants. These five themes were the importance of: 1) adopting a regional perspective, 2) reflecting, 3) recognizing gaps between practice and guidelines, 4) collaborating, and 5) identifying possible practice improvements. The team experienced few challenges implementing the intervention. However
Schwartz, Mark D; Jensen, Ashley; Wang, Binhuan; Bennett, Katelyn; Dembitzer, Anne; Strauss, Shiela; Schoenthaler, Antoinette; Gillespie, Colleen; Sherman, Scott
Panel Management can expand prevention and chronic illness management beyond the office visit, but there is limited evidence for its effectiveness or guidance on how best to incorporate it into practice. We aimed to test the effectiveness of incorporating panel management into clinical practice by incorporating Panel Management Assistants (PMAs) into primary care teams with and without panel management education. We conducted an 8-month cluster-randomized controlled trial of panel management for improving hypertension and smoking cessation outcomes among veterans. Twenty primary care teams from the Veterans Affairs New York Harbor were randomized to control, panel management support, or panel management support plus education groups. Teams included 69 clinical staff serving 8,153 hypertensive and/or smoking veterans. Teams assigned to the intervention groups worked with non-clinical Panel Management Assistants (PMAs) who monitored care gaps and conducted proactive patient outreach, including referrals, mail reminders and motivational interviewing by telephone. Measurements included mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure, proportion of patients with controlled blood pressure, self-reported quit attempts, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) prescriptions, and referrals to disease management services. Change in mean blood pressure, blood pressure control, and smoking quit rates were similar across study groups. Patients on intervention teams were more likely to receive NRT (OR = 1.4; 95% CI 1.2-1.6) and enroll in the disease management services MOVE! (OR = 1.2; 95% CI 1.1-1.6) and Telehealth (OR = 1.7, 95% CI 1.4-2.1) than patients on control teams. Panel Management support for primary care teams improved process, but not outcome variables among veterans with hypertension and smoking. Incorporating PMAs into teams was feasible and highly valued by the clinical staff, but clinical impact may require a longer intervention.
Staeheli, Martha; Aseltine, Robert H; Schilling, Elizabeth; Anderson, Daren; Gould, Bruce
Behavioral health disorders remain under recognized and under diagnosed among urban primary care patients. Screening patients for such problems is widely recommended, yet is challenging to do in a brief primary care encounter, particularly for this socially and medically complex patient population. In 2013, intervention patients at an urban Connecticut primary clinic were screened for post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and risky drinking (n = 146) using an electronic tablet-based screening tool. Screening data were compared to electronic health record data from control patients (n = 129) to assess differences in the prevalence of behavioral health problems, rates of follow-up care, and the rate of newly identified cases in the intervention group. Results from logistic regressions indicated that both groups had similar rates of disorder at baseline. Patients in the intervention group were five times more likely to be identified with depression (p < 0.05). Post-traumatic stress disorder was virtually unrecognized among controls but was observed in 23% of the intervention group (p < 0.001). The vast majority of behavioral health problems identified in the intervention group were new cases. Follow-up rates were significantly higher in the intervention group relative to controls, but were low overall. This tablet-based electronic screening tool identified significantly higher rates of behavioral health disorders than have been previously reported for this patient population. Electronic risk screening using patient-reported outcome measures offers an efficient approach to improving the identification of behavioral health problems and improving rates of follow-up care.
Reeves, T; Stace, J M
Current traditional methods of mental healthcare service delivery, based on 'specialists' providing 'outpatient appointments' for formal therapy, are often inappropriate for the needs of patients in primary care. The estimated numbers of adults with mental health problems are immense, and it is this, combined with Department of Health initiatives aimed at improving choice and access, which make it essential that new ways of delivering services are explored. This trial examines the use of an assisted self-help treatment package for mild to moderate stress/anxiety [Assisted Bibliotherapy (AB)] with an adult clinical population referred by their general practitioner. Assisted Bibliotherapy is a brief intervention (8 weeks), with limited therapist contact (20-min sessions). Non-parametric statistical testing of scores from the Zung Anxiety Scale and the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation (CORE) questionnaire indicated positive results. There was significant improvement at post-treatment, which was maintained at 3 month follow-up. The results from this trial and a previous trial of AB by Kupshik & Fisher in 1999, indicate that it is an effective treatment which could be used as part of a stepped care approach to managing and treating stress/anxiety in primary care.
Nyunt, Ma Shwe Zin; Ko, Soo Meng; Kumar, Rajeev; Fones, Calvin C S; Ng, Tze Pin
Mental illness is highly prevalent and disabling, but is under-treated. Outreach services attempt to overcome system and personal barriers to care, but there are few reports of their effects in improving access and use of mental health services. In the Community-based Early Psychiatric Interventional Strategy (CEPIS) programme in Singapore, community nurses routinely screened seniors for depressive symptoms, and provided psychoeducation and referral for primary care treatment. We evaluated the impact of the outreach programme and the extent to which determinants of treatment-seeking were altered by removing socioeconomic, physical and cognitive barriers to care. Participants were screened using the geriatric depression scale (GDS) and independently assessed using structured clinical interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) diagnosis. Treatment-seeking at 1 month post-outreach was compared retrospectively to pre-outreach spontaneous treatment-seeking in the previous 1 year. Among 4633 participants, 370 (8%) with depressive symptoms included 214 (57.8%) with diagnosed mental disorder(s). Pre-outreach treatment-seeking was 10.3%. The programme resulted in 73.8% being successfully referred to GP treatment. Pre-outreach treatment-seeking was significantly associated with a diagnosed mental disorder (OR = 2.22), fair or poor self-reported mental health (OR = 3.26), > or = 10 depressive symptoms (OR = 3.18), perceived need for professional help (OR = 3.58), > or = 3 medical comorbidities (OR = 2.67), younger age <70 (OR = 2.55), female gender (OR = 3.58) and at least primary education (OR = 3.06). All but a few of these predisposing and enabling variables were not associated with post-outreach treatment-seeking. By eliminating socioeconomic, physical and cognitive barriers, equitable care provided in an outreach programme vastly increased referrals for primary care treatment for depression. Copyright 2009 John Wiley
López-Sepúlveda, Rocío; García Lirola, María Ángeles; Espínola García, Esther; Martín Sances, Salvadora; Anaya Ordóñez, Sonia; Jurado Martínez, José María; Cabeza Barrera, José
The objective of this study was to measure the impact of an intervention on the prescription habits of general practitioners (GPs) in order to improve the quality of zolpidem prescriptions in patients aged 75 or older. A prospective multicentric non-randomized trial was performed in the Metropolitan Granada Primary Healthcare Area (Andalusian Public Healthcare Service, Spain), which serves a total population of approximately 675,000 inhabitants. All health centers volunteering to participate in the trial were included. The intervention consisted of training sessions, individualized feedback, clinical information, and financial incentives. A daily dose over 5 mg was considered non-safe. Reduction in non-safe prescriptions of zolpidem in the elderly population became a quality prescribing indicator in a pay-for-performance scheme. Statistically significant differences versus baseline were found between the intervention and control groups in mean zolpidem prescription prevalence (28.5 vs. 37.5‰, respectively; p = 0.008) and mean non-safe zolpidem prescription prevalence (16.5 vs. 34.2‰, respectively; p < 0.001). At the end of the study period, the total number of non-safe prescriptions was 1309, 35% lower versus baseline, with a significant difference of p < 0.001; the number in the intervention (510 vs. 1118; p < 0.001) and control (799 vs. 893; p = 0.0064) groups was also significantly lower, with a significantly greater percentage reduction in the intervention group (54.4 vs. 10.5%, p < 0.001). The quality prescribing indicator in our area was improved by the intervention developed. Further studies that include an intervention group of GPs who receive no financial incentive are required to evaluate the relative importance of an economic reward in achieving this improvement.
Tofighi, Babak; Grossman, Ellie; Bereket, Sewit; D Lee, Joshua
Few studies have evaluated text message content preferences to support evidence-based treatment approaches for opioid use disorders, and none in primary care office-based buprenorphine treatment settings. This study assessed the acceptability and preferences for a tailored text message intervention in support of core office-based buprenorphine treatment medical management components (e.g., treatment adherence, encouraging abstinence, 12-step group participation, motivational interviewing, and patient-provider communication as needed). There were 97 patients enrolled in a safety net office-based buprenorphine treatment program who completed a 24-item survey instrument that consisted of multiple-choice responses, 7-point Likert-type scales, binomial "Yes/No" questions, and open-ended responses. The sample was predominately male (81%), had an average age of 46 years, and was diverse (64% ethnic/racial minorities); 56% lacked stable employment. Respondents were interested in receiving text message appointment reminders (90%), information pertaining to their buprenorphine treatment (76%), supportive content (70%), and messages to reduce the risk of relapse (88%). Participants preferred to receive relapse prevention text messages during all phases of treatment: immediately after induction into buprenorphine treatment (81%), a "few months" into treatment (57%), and after discontinuing buprenorphine treatment (72%). Respondents also expressed interest in text message content enhancing self-efficacy, social support, and frequent provider communication to facilitate unobserved "home" induction with buprenorphine. Older participants were significantly less receptive to receiving text message appointment reminders; however, they were as interested in receiving supportive, informational, and relapse prevention components compared to younger respondents. Implications for integrating a text message support system in office-based buprenorphine treatment are discussed.
Rollow, William; Cucchiara, Peter
The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model provides a compelling vision for primary care transformation, but studies of its impact have used insufficiently patient-centered metrics with inconsistent results. We propose a framework for defining patient-centered value and a new model for value-based primary care transformation: the primary care value model (PCVM). We advocate for use of patient-centered value when measuring the impact of primary care transformation, recognition, and performance-based payment; for financial support and research and development to better define primary care value-creating activities and their implementation; and for use of the model to support primary care organizations in transformation.
Sweden was one of the first European Union countries that saw the opportunity in the free movement of professionals. First offers for jobs were managed in 2000. Since then, a large number of professionals have taken the opportunity of a decent job and have moved from Spain to Sweden. The Swedish health care model belongs to the group of national health systems. The right to health care is linked to legal citizenship. Health is financed through regional taxes, but there is a compulsory co-payment regardless of the financial situation of the patient. The provision of health care is decentralised at a regional level, and there is a mixture of private and public medical centres. Primary care is similar to that in Spain. Health professionals work as a team with a division of tasks. Like in Spain, waiting lists and coordination between primary and specialised care are a great problem. Patients may register with any public or private primary care centre and hospital provider within their region. Access to diagnostic tests and specialists are restricted to those selected by specialists. Doctors are salaried and their job and salary depend on their experience, professional abilities and regional needs. Medicine is curative. General practitioners are the gateway to the system, but they do not act as gatekeeper. Hospitals offer a number of training post, and the access is through an interview. Continuing medical education is encouraged and financed by the health centre in order to increase its revenues. Copyright © 2015 Sociedad Española de Médicos de Atención Primaria (SEMERGEN). Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.
Background Back pain is one of the UK's costliest and least understood health problems, whose prevalence still seems to be increasing. Educational interventions for general practitioners on back pain appear to have had little impact on practice, but these did not include quality improvement learning, involve patients in the learning, record costs or document practice activities as well as patient outcomes. Methods We assessed the outcome of providing information about quality improvement techniques and evidence-based practice for back pain using the Clinical Value Compass. This included clinical outcomes (Roland and Morris Disability Questionnaire), functional outcomes, costs of care and patient satisfaction. We provided workshops which used an action learning approach and collected before and after data on routine practice activity from practice electronic databases. In parallel, we studied outcomes in a separate cohort of patients with acute and sub-acute non-specific back pain recruited from the same practices over the same time period. Patient data were analysed as a prospective, split-cohort study with assessments at baseline and eight weeks following the first consultation. Results Data for 1014 patients were recorded in the practice database study, and 101 patients in the prospective cohort study. We found that practice activities, costs and patient outcomes changed little after the intervention. However, the intervention was associated with a small, but statistically significant reduction in disability in female patients. Additionally, baseline disability, downheartedness, self-rated health and leg pain had small but statistically significant effects (p < 0.05) on follow-up disability scores in some subgroups. Conclusions GP education for back pain that both includes health improvement methodologies and involves patients may yield additional benefits for some patients without large changes in patterns of practice activity. The effects in this study were
Parent, Florence; Fromageot, Audrey; Coppieters, Yves; Lejeune, Colette; Lemenu, Dominique; Garant, Michèle; Piette, Danielle; Levêque, Alain; De Ketele, Jean-Marie
Human resources in health care system in sub-Saharan Africa are generally picturing a lack of adequacy between expected skills from the professionals and health care needs expressed by the populations. It is, however, possible to analyse these various lacks of adequacy related to human resource management and their determinants to enhance the effectiveness of the health care system. From two projects focused on nurse professionals within the health care system in Central Africa, we present an analytic grid for adequacy levels looking into the following aspects: - adequacy between skills-based profiles for health system professionals, quality of care and service delivery (health care system /medical standards), needs and expectations from the populations, - adequacy between allocation of health system professionals, quality of care and services delivered (health care system /medical standards), needs and expectations from the populations, - adequacy between human resource management within health care system and medical standards, - adequacy between human resource management within education/teaching/training and needs from health care system and education sectors, - adequacy between basic and on-going education and realities of tasks expected and implemented by different categories of professionals within the health care system body, - adequacy between intentions for initial and on-going trainings and teaching programs in health sciences for trainers (teachers/supervisors/health care system professionals/ directors (teaching managers) of schools...). This tool is necessary for decision-makers as well as for health care system professionals who share common objectives for changes at each level of intervention within the health system. Setting this adequacy implies interdisciplinary and participative approaches for concerned actors in order to provide an overall vision of a more broaden system than health district, small island with self-rationality, and in which
Wozniak, Lisa; Rees, Sandra; Soprovich, Allison; Al Sayah, Fatima; Johnson, Steven T; Majumdar, Sumit R; Johnson, Jeffrey A
Introduction Diabetes represents a major public health and health system burden. As part of the Alberta's Caring for Diabetes (ABCD) Project, two quality-improvement interventions are being piloted in four Primary Care Networks in Alberta. Gaps between health research, policy and practice have been documented and the need to evaluate the impact of public health interventions in real-world settings to inform decision-making and clinical practice is paramount. In this article, we describe the application of the RE-AIM framework to evaluate the interventions beyond effectiveness. Methods and analysis Two quality-improvement interventions were implemented, based on previously proven effective models of care and are directed at improving the physical and mental health of patients with type-2 diabetes. Our goal is to adapt and apply the RE-AIM framework, using a mixed-methods approach, to understand the impact of the interventions to inform policy and clinical decision-making. We present the proposed measures, data sources and data management and analysis strategies used to evaluate the interventions by RE-AIM dimension. Ethics and dissemination Ethics approval for the ABCD Project has been granted from the Health Research Ethics Board (HREB #PRO00012663) at the University of Alberta. The RE-AIM framework will be used to structure our dissemination activities by dimension. Results It will be presented at relevant conferences and prepared for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Various products, such as presentations, briefing reports and webinars, will be developed to inform key stakeholders of the findings. Presentation of findings by RE-AIM dimension will facilitate discussion regarding the public health impact of the two interventions within the primary care context of Alberta and lessons learned to be used in programme planning and care delivery for patients with type-2 diabetes. It will also promote the application of evaluation models to better assess the impact
Coates, Allan L; Graham, Brian L; McFadden, Robin G; McParland, Colm; Moosa, Dilshad; Provencher, Steeve; Road, Jeremy
Canadian Thoracic Society (CTS) clinical guidelines for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) specify that spirometry should be used to diagnose these diseases. Given the burden of asthma and COPD, most people with these diseases will be diagnosed in the primary care setting. The present CTS position statement was developed to provide guidance on key factors affecting the quality of spirometry testing in the primary care setting. The present statement may also be used to inform and guide the accreditation process for spirometry in each province. Although many of the principles discussed are equally applicable to pulmonary function laboratories and interpretation of tests by respirologists, they are held to a higher standard and are outside the scope of the present statement. PMID:23457669
Prestes, Mariana; Gayarre, María Angelica; Elgart, Jorge Federico; Gonzalez, Lorena; Rucci, Enzo; Gagliardino, Juan José
To test the one year-post effect of an integrated diabetes care program that includes system changes, education, registry (clinical, metabolic and therapeutic indicators) and disease management (DIAPREM), implemented at primary care level, on care outcomes and costs. We randomly selected 15 physicians and 15 nurses from primary care units of La Matanza County to be trained (Intervention-IG) and another 15 physicians/nurses to use as controls (Control-CG). Each physician-nurse team controlled and followed up 10 patients with type 2 diabetes for one year; both groups use structured medical data registry. Patients in IG had quarterly clinical appointments whereas those in CG received traditional care. DIAPREM includes system changes (use of guidelines, programmed quarterly controls and yearly visits to the specialist) and education (physicians' and nurses' training courses). Statistical data analysis included parametric/nonparametric tests according to data distribution profile and Chi-squared test for proportions. Baseline data from both groups showed comparable values and 20-30% of them did not perform HbA1c and lipid profile measurements. Majority were obese, 59% had HbA1C ≥7%, 86% fasting blood glucose ≥100mg/dL, 45%, total cholesterol ≥200mg/dL, and 92% abnormal HDL- and LDL-cholesterol values. Similarly, micro and macroangiopathic complications had not been detected in the previous year. Most patients received oral antidiabetic agents (monotherapy), and one third was on insulin (mostly a single dose of an intermediate/long-acting formulation). Most people with hypertension received specific drug treatment but only half of them reached target values; dyslipidemia treatment showed similar data. Baseline data demonstrated the need of implementing an intervention to improve diabetes care and treatment outcomes. Copyright © 2016 Primary Care Diabetes Europe. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Gardner, Lytt I; Marks, Gary; Wilson, Tracey E; Giordano, Thomas P; Sullivan, Meg; Raper, James L; Rodriguez, Allan E; Keruly, Jeanne; Malitz, Faye
: We calculated the financial impact in 6 HIV clinics of a low-effort retention in care intervention involving brief motivational messages from providers, patient brochures, and posters. We used a linear regression model to calculate absolute changes in kept primary care visits from the preintervention year (2008-2009) to the intervention year (2009-2010). Revenue from patients' insurance was also assessed by clinic. Kept visits improved significantly in the intervention year versus the preintervention year (P < 0.0001). We found a net-positive effect on clinic revenue of +$24,000/year for an average-size clinic (7400 scheduled visits/year). We encourage HIV clinic administrators to consider implementing this low-effort intervention.
Gardner, Lytt I.; Marks, Gary; Wilson, Tracey E.; Giordano, Thomas P.; Sullivan, Meg; Raper, James L.; Rodriguez, Allan E.; Keruly, Jeanne; Malitz, Faye
We calculated the financial impact in 6 HIV clinics of a low-effort retention in care intervention involving brief motivational messages from providers, patient brochures, and posters. We used a linear regression model to calculate absolute changes in kept primary care visits from the preintervention year (2008–2009) to the intervention year (2009–2010). Revenue from patients’ insurance was also assessed by clinic. Kept visits improved significantly in the intervention year versus the preintervention year (P < 0.0001). We found a net-positive effect on clinic revenue of +$24,000/year for an average-size clinic (7400 scheduled visits/year). We encourage HIV clinic administrators to consider implementing this low-effort intervention. PMID:25559605
Cranwell, K; Polacsek, M; McCann, T V
WHAT IS KNOWN ON THE SUBJECT?: Mental health service users with medical co-morbidity frequently experience difficulties accessing and receiving appropriate treatment in emergency departments. Service users frequently experience fragmented care planning and coordinating between tertiary medical and primary care services. Little is known about mental health nurses' perspectives about how to address these problems. WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS TO EXISTING KNOWLEDGE?: Emergency department clinicians' poor communication and negative attitudes have adverse effects on service users and the quality of care they receive. The findings contribute to the international evidence about mental health nurses' perspectives of service users feeling confused and frustrated in this situation, and improving coordination and continuity of care, facilitating transitions and increasing family and caregiver participation. Intervention studies are needed to evaluate if adoption of these measures leads to sustainable improvements in care planning and coordination, and how service users with medical co-morbidity are treated in emergency departments in particular. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE?: Effective planning and coordination of care are essential to enable smooth transitions between tertiary medical (emergency departments in particular) and primary care services for service users with medical co-morbidity. Ongoing professional development education and support is needed for emergency department clinicians. There is also a need to develop an organized and systemic approach to improving service users' experience in emergency departments. Introduction Mental health service users with medical co-morbidity frequently experience difficulties accessing appropriate treatment in medical hospitals, and often there is poor collaboration within and between services. Little is known about mental health nurses' perspectives on how to address these problems. Aim To explore mental health nurses
Andergassen, U.; Kasprowicz, N. S.; Hepp, P.; Schindlbeck, C.; Harbeck, N.; Kiechle, M.; Sommer, H.; Beckmann, M. W.; Friese, K.; Janni, W.; Rack, B.; Scholz, C.
The SUCCESS-A trial is a prospective, multicenter, phase III clinical trial for high-risk primary breast cancer. It compares disease-free survival after randomization in patients treated with fluorouracil, epirubicin and cyclophosphamide followed by 3 cycles of docetaxel (FEC-D) with that of patients treated with 3 cycles of FEC followed by 3 cycles of gemcitabine and docetaxel (FEC-DG). After a second randomization patients were treated with zoledronate for 2 or 5 years. A total of 251 centers took part in the trial and 3754 patients were recruited over a period of 18 months which ended in March 2007. In a questionnaire-based survey we investigated the impact of enrollment in the trial on patient care, the choice of chemotherapy protocol and access to current oncologic information as well as overall satisfaction in the respective centers. Analysis of the 78 questionnaires returned showed that 40 % of the centers had never previously enrolled patients with these indications in clinical studies. Prior to participating in the study, 4 % of the centers prescribed CMF or other protocols in patients with high-primary breast cancer risk, 46 % administered anthracycline-based chemotherapy and 50 % gave taxane-based chemotherapy. Around half of the participating centers noted that intensity of care and overall quality of care became even better and that access to breast cancer-specific information improved through participation in the trial. After their experience with the SUCCESS-A trial, all of the centers stated that they were prepared to enroll patients in clinical phase III trials again in the future. These data indicate that both patients and physicians benefit from clinical trials, as enrollment improves treatment strategies and individual patient care, irrespective of study endpoints. PMID:24771886
Jutel, M; Angier, L; Palkonen, S; Ryan, D; Sheikh, A; Smith, H; Valovirta, E; Yusuf, O; van Wijk, R G; Agache, I
The incidence, prevalence and costs of allergy have increased substantially in recent decades in many parts of Europe. The dominant model of allergy care within Europe is at the moment specialist-based. This model will become unsustainable and undeliverable with increasing disease prevalence. One solution to increase provision of allergy services is to diversify the providers. A new model for the provision of allergy care in the community with the general practitioner at the forefront is proposed. Pre- and postgraduate allergy education and training, implementation of pathways of care, allergy specialization and political will to generate resources and support are essential to achieve this new model. In parallel the holistic view of allergic diseases should be maintained, including assessment of severity and risk, psychological factors and health-care related costs in the context of the patient-centered decision making process. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Fazio, Sara B; Demasi, Monica; Farren, Erin; Frankl, Susan; Gottlieb, Barbara; Hoy, Jessica; Johnson, Amanda; Kasper, Jill; Lee, Patrick; McCarthy, Claire; Miller, Kathe; Morris, Juliana; O'Hare, Kitty; Rosales, Rachael; Simmons, Leigh; Smith, Benjamin; Treadway, Katherine; Goodell, Kristen; Ogur, Barbara
In light of the increasing demand for primary care services and the changing scope of health care, it is important to consider how the principles of primary care are taught in medical school. While the majority of schools have increased students' exposure to primary care, they have not developed a standardized primary care curriculum for undergraduate medical education. In 2013, the authors convened a group of educators from primary care internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, and medicine-pediatrics, as well as five medical students to create a blueprint for a primary care curriculum that could be integrated into a longitudinal primary care experience spanning undergraduate medical education and delivered to all students regardless of their eventual career choice.The authors organized this blueprint into three domains: care management, specific areas of content expertise, and understanding the role of primary care in the health care system. Within each domain, they described specific curriculum content, including longitudinality, generalism, central responsibility for managing care, therapeutic alliance/communication, approach to acute and chronic care, wellness and prevention, mental and behavioral health, systems improvement, interprofessional training, and population health, as well as competencies that all medical students should attain by graduation.The proposed curriculum incorporates important core features of doctoring, which are often affirmed by all disciplines but owned by none. The authors argue that primary care educators are natural stewards of this curriculum content and can ensure that it complements and strengthens all aspects of undergraduate medical education.
Thomas, Nicola; Gallagher, Hugh; Jain, Neerja
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) stages 3 to 5, affects 6-7% of the adult population and is an important risk factor for both advanced kidney disease and cardiovascular disease. This paper describes a quality improvement project that aimed to establish consistent implementation of best practice in people with stage 3-5 kidney disease who were managed in primary care. The intervention was a Care Bundle for CKD. The bundle included three evidence-based, high impact interventions based on National Institute for Care Excellence (NICE, 2008) guidance, with an additional and novel self-management element. 29 GP Practices in England and Wales began the study. They undertook training in clinical management of CKD and in facilitation of self-management, with the self-management content designed and led by patients. Practices were asked to report baseline and then monthly outcome data extracted from practice computer systems. The project team provided implementation and ongoing quality improvement support for participating Practices. Ten Practices dropped out of the study following the training. Data submissions were incomplete in six Practices who continued to apply the care bundle. At the project end, a decision was taken by the study team to perform the final analysis on those thirteen Practices which completed the project and submitted at least six sets of monthly Practice-level outcome data. In these Practices the Care Bundle was applied to under 20% of the registered CKD stage 3 to 5 population in 5 Practices, 20-29% in 3 Practices, 30-49% in 2 Practices and ≥50% in 3 Practices (998 patients in total). Of these, 671 patients (75%) agreed to the self-management component of the intervention. The reliability (at project end) in those who received the Bundle was 100%. The Bundle was applied to an additional 315 patients in the six Practices who completed the project but did not submit regular practice-level monthly data. In the thirteen remaining Practices, the achievement
Background Patient safety is a leading item on the policy agenda of both major international health organizations and advanced countries generally. The quantitative description of the phenomena has given rise to intense concern with the issue in institutions and organizations, leading to a number of initiatives and research projects and the promotion of patient safety culture, with training becoming a priority both in Spain and internationally. To date, most studies have been conducted in a hospital setting, even though primary care is the type most commonly used by the public, in our experience. Our study aims to achieve the following: - Assess the registry of adverse events as an education tool to improve patient safety culture in the Family and Community Teaching Units of Galicia. - Find and analyze educational tools to improve patient safety culture in primary care. - Evaluate the applicability of the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Spanish version, in the context of primary health care. Design and methods Design Experimental unifactorial study of two groups, control and intervention. Study population Tutors and residents in Family and Community Medicine in last year of studies in Galicia, Spain. Sample From the population universe through voluntary participation. Twenty-seven tutor-resident units in each group required, randomly assigned. Intervention Residents and their respective tutor (tutor-resident pair) in teaching units on Family and Community Medicine from throughout Galicia will be invited to participate. Tutor-resident pair that agrees to participate will be sent the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture. Then, tutor-resident pair will be assigned to each group-either intervention or control-through simple random sampling. The intervention group will receive specific training to record the adverse effects found in patients under their care, with subsequent feedback, after receiving
Background The role of time management in safe and efficient medicine is important but poorly incorporated into the taxonomies of error in primary care. This paper addresses the lack of time management, presenting a framework integrating five time scales termed ‘Tempos’ requiring parallel processing by GPs: the disease's tempo (unexpected rapid evolutions, slow reaction to treatment); the office's tempo (day-to-day agenda and interruptions); the patient's tempo (time to express symptoms, compliance, emotion); the system's tempo (time for appointments, exams, and feedback); and the time to access to knowledge. The art of medicine is to control all of these tempos in parallel and simultaneously. Method Two qualified physicians reviewed a sample of 1046 malpractice claims from one liability insurer to determine whether a medical injury had occurred and, if so, whether it was due to one or more tempo-related problems. 623 of these reports were analysed in greater detail to identify the prevalence and characteristics of claims and related time management errors. Results The percentages of contributing factors were as follows: disease tempo, 37.9%; office tempo, 13.2%; patient tempo, 13.8%; out-of-office coordination tempo, 22.6%; and GP's access to knowledge tempo, 33.2%. Conclusion Although not conceptualised in most error taxonomies, the disease and patient tempos are cornerstones in risk management in primary care. Traditional taxonomies describe events from an analytical perspective of care at the system level and offer opportunities to improve organisation, process, and evidence-based medicine. The suggested classification describes events in terms of (unsafe) dynamic control of parallel constraints from the carer's perspective, namely the GP, and offers improvement on how to self manage and coordinate different contradictory tempos and day-to-day activities. Further work is needed to test the validity and usefulness of this approach. PMID:22927486
Wright, Robert; Saul, Robert A
Epigenetics, the study of functionally relevant chemical modifications to DNA that do not involve a change in the DNA nucleotide sequence, is at the interface between research and clinical medicine. Research on epigenetic marks, which regulate gene expression independently of the underlying genetic code, has dramatically changed our understanding of the interplay between genes and the environment. This interplay alters human biology and developmental trajectories, and can lead to programmed human disease years after the environmental exposure. In addition, epigenetic marks are potentially heritable. In this article, we discuss the underlying concepts of epigenetics and address its current and potential applicability for primary care providers.
Ziemer, David C.; Tsui, Circe; Caudle, Jane; Barnes, Catherine S.; Dames, Faye; Phillips, Lawrence S.
Although research has shown that proper management of diabetes can improve outcomes, glucose control is worsening. This partly reflects the failure of providers to intensify diabetes therapy when indicated, termed clinical inertia. Our intervention used (a) decision support reminders which provided patient specific recommendations for management at each visit, and (b) computer generated provider specific feedback on performance. This intervention improved the frequency with which providers intensified the therapy and improved glycemic control. PMID:17238779
McGrail, Matthew R
The two step floating catchment area (2SFCA) method has emerged in the last decade as a key measure of spatial accessibility, particularly in its application to primary health care access. Many recent 'improvements' to the original 2SFCA method have been developed, which generally either account for distance-decay within a catchment or enable the usage of variable catchment sizes. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of various proposed methods within these two improvement groups. Moreover, its assessment focuses on how well these improvements operate within and between rural and metropolitan populations over large geographical regions. Demonstrating these improvements to the whole state of Victoria, Australia, this paper presents the first comparison between continuous and zonal (step) decay functions and specifically their effect within both rural and metropolitan populations. Especially in metropolitan populations, the application of either type of distance-decay function is shown to be problematic by itself. Its inclusion necessitates the addition of a variable catchment size function which can enable the 2SFCA method to dynamically define more appropriate catchments which align with actual health service supply and utilisation. This study assesses recent 'improvements' to the 2SFCA when applied over large geographic regions of both large and small populations. Its findings demonstrate the necessary combination of both a distance-decay function and variable catchment size function in order for the 2SFCA to appropriately measure healthcare access across all geographical regions.
Fairall, Lara; Bachmann, Max O; Zwarenstein, Merrick; Bateman, Eric D; Niessen, Louis W; Lombard, Carl; Majara, Bosielo; English, René; Bheekie, Angeni; van Rensburg, Dingie; Mayers, Pat; Peters, Annatjie; Chapman, Ronald
To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of an educational outreach intervention to improve primary respiratory care by South African nurses. Cost-effectiveness analysis alongside a pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial, with individual patient data. The intervention, the Practical Approach to Lung Health in South Africa (PALSA), comprised educational outreach based on syndromic clinical practice guidelines for tuberculosis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases. The study included 1999 patients aged 15 or over with cough or difficult breathing, attending 40 primary care clinics staffed by nurses in the Free State province. They were interviewed at first presentation, and 1856 (93%) were interviewed 3 months later. The intervention increased the tuberculosis case detection rate by 2.2% and increased the proportion of patients appropriately managed (that is, diagnosed with tuberculosis or prescribed an inhaled corticosteroid for asthma or referred with indicators of severe disease) by 10%. It costs the health service $68 more for each extra patient diagnosed with tuberculosis and $15 more for every extra patient appropriately managed. Analyses were most sensitive to assumptions about how long training was effective for and to inclusion of household and tuberculosis treatment costs. This educational outreach method was more effective and more costly than usual training in improving tuberculosis, asthma and urgent respiratory care. The extra cost of increasing tuberculosis case detection was comparable to current costs of passive case detection. The syndromic approach increased cost-effectiveness by also improving care of other conditions. This educational intervention was sustainable, reaching thousands of health workers and hundreds of clinics since the trial.
Cranwell, Kate; Polacsek, Meg; McCann, Terence V
Mental health service users have high rates of medical co-morbidity but frequently experience problems accessing and transitioning between tertiary medical and primary care services. The aim of this study was to identify ways to improve service users' with medical co-morbidity care and experience during their transition between tertiary medical hospitals and primary care services. Experience-based co-design (EBCD) qualitative study incorporating a focus group discussion. The study took place in a large tertiary medical service, incorporating three medical hospitals, and primary care services, in Melbourne, Australia. A purposive sample of service users and their caregivers and tertiary medical and primary care clinicians participated in the focus group discussion, in August 2014. A semi-structured interview guide was used to inform data collection. A thematic analysis of the data was undertaken. Thirteen participants took part in the focus group interview, comprising 5 service users, 2 caregivers and 6 clinicians. Five themes were abstracted from the data, illustrating participants' perspectives about factors that facilitated (clinicians' expertise, engagement and accessibility enhancing transition) and presented as barriers (improving access pathways; enhancing communication and continuity of care; improving clinicians' attitudes; and increasing caregiver participation) to service users' progress through tertiary medical and primary care services. A sixth theme, enhancing service users' transition, incorporated three strategies to enhance their transition through tertiary medical and primary care services. EBCD is a useful approach to collaboratively develop strategies to improve service users' with medical co-morbidity and their caregivers' transition between tertiary medical and primary care services. A whole-of-service approach, incorporating policy development and implementation, change of practice philosophy, professional development education and support for
Steciwko, Andrzej; Lubieniecka, Małgorzata; Muszyńska, Agnieszka
Discovered in the forties of the twentieth century antimicrobial agents have changed the world. Currently, due to their overuse, we are threatened by the increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics, and soon we may face a threat of inability to fight these pathogens. For that reason, the world, European and national organizations introduce antibiotics protection programs. In Poland since 2004, the National Program of Protection of Antibiotics is being held. The concept of rational antibiotic therapy is associated not only with the appropriate choice of therapy or antimicrobial dosage but also with a reduction in costs associated with a refund of medicines. Antibiotics are prescribed mostly by primary care physicians (GP), and about one fifth of visits to family doctor's office ends with prescribing antimicrobial drug. These trends are probably related to both the difficulty in applying the differential diagnosis of viral and bacterial infection in a primary care doctor's office, as well as patient's conviction about the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy in viral infections. However, although patients often want to influence the therapeutic decisions and ask their doctor for prescribing antimicrobial drug, the right conversation with a doctor alone is the critical component in satisfaction with medical care. Many countries have established standards to clarify the indications for use of antibiotics and thereby reduce their consumption. The next step is to monitor the prescribing and use of these drugs and to assess the rise of drug resistance in the area. In Poland, the recommendations regarding outpatient respiratory tract infections treatment were published and usage of antimicrobial agents monitoring has begun. However, lack of publications covering a broad analysis of antibiotic therapy and drug resistance on Polish territory is still a problem. Modem medicine has yet another tool in the fight against bacteria--they are bacteriophages. Phage therapy is
DeVoe, Jennifer; Angier, Heather; Hoopes, Megan; Gold, Rachel
Maintaining continuous health insurance coverage is important. With recent expansions in access to coverage in the United States after “Obamacare,” primary care teams have a new role in helping to track and improve coverage rates and to provide outreach to patients. We describe efforts to longitudinally track health insurance rates using data from the electronic health record (EHR) of a primary care network and to use these data to support practice-based insurance outreach and assistance. Although we highlight a few examples from one network, we believe there is great potential for doing this type of work in a broad range of family medicine and community health clinics that provide continuity of care. By partnering with researchers through practice-based research networks and other similar collaboratives, primary care practices can greatly expand the use of EHR data and EHR-based tools targeting improvements in health insurance and quality health care. PMID:28966926
Watts, Sharon A; Roush, Laura; Julius, Mary; Sood, Ajay
An increasing number of patients with diabetes mellitus has created a need for innovative delivery of specialized care not only by diabetes specialists but also by primary care providers (PCPs) as well. A potential avenue to address this need is training of PCPs by specialists via telehealth. The Veteran Affairs (VA) Specialty Care Access Network-Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (SCAN-ECHO) program includes education and case-based learning for PCPs by a multidisciplinary specialty team utilizing videoconferencing technology. Two PCPs completed a year of SCAN-ECHO diabetes training. These two PCPs set up "diabetes mini-clinics" to treat difficult-to-control high-risk patients with diabetes mellitus from their own panel and from their colleagues in the same community-based outpatient clinic (CBOC). We utilized a retrospective program evaluation by t-test using pre/post glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) lab values after being seen by the two PCPs. A total of 39 patients, all with HbA1c > 9.0%, were seen in the two PCP mini-clinics over 15 months. The mean HbA1c improved from 10.2 ± 1.4% to 8.4 ± 1.8% (p < 0.001) over the average follow-up period of five months. This was not explained by system-wide changes or improvements. Care of veteran patients with poorly controlled diabetes by PCPs who participated in SCAN-ECHO program leads to improvement in glycemic control. This model of health care delivery can be effective in remote or rural areas with limited availability of specialists. © The Author(s) 2015.
Cloutier, Michelle M.; Tennen, Howard; Wakefield, Dorothy B.; Brazil, Kevin; Hall, Charles B.
Objectives The association between changes in clinician self-efficacy and readiness to change and implementation of an asthma management program (Easy Breathing©) was examined. Methods A 36 month randomized, controlled trial was conducted involving 24 pediatric practices (88 clinicians). Randomized clinicians received interventions designed to enhance clinician self-efficacy and readiness to change which were measured at baseline and 3 years. Interventions consisted of an educational toolbox, seminars, teleconferences, mini-fellowships, opinion leader visits, clinician-specific feedback, and pay for performance. The primary outcome was program utilization (number of children enrolled in Easy Breathing/year); secondary outcomes included development of a written treatment plan and severity-appropriate therapy. Results At baseline, clinicians enrolled 149 ± 147 (mean ± SD) children/clinician/year; 84% of children had a written treatment plan and 77% of plans used severity-appropriate therapy. At baseline, higher self-efficacy scores were associated with greater program utilization (Relative Rate (RR) 1.34 (95% Confidence Interval 1.04, 1.72), p=0.04) but not treatment plan development (RR 0.63 (0.29, 1.35), p=.23) or anti-inflammatory use (RR 1.76 (0.92, 3.35), p=.09). Intervention clinicians participated in 17 interventions over 36 months. At study end, self-efficacy scores increased in intervention clinicians compared to control clinicians (p=0.01) and more clinicians were in an action stage of change (p=0.001) but these changes were not associated with changes in primary or secondary outcomes. Conclusions Self-efficacy scores correlated with program use at baseline and increased in the intervention arm but these increases were not associated with greater program-related activities. Self-efficacy may be necessary but not sufficient for behavior change. PMID:22634077
The Australian Government is wise to examine other health care systems as it strives to improve the quality of care and address rising costs to both governments and individuals. Focus is currently on the United Kingdom, whose National Health Service (NHS) stands out as one that delivers good care at a reasonable price to all who need it. The Australian and UK systems have many similarities: universal access, tax payer support, no or low cost at point of delivery, and good population health outcomes. They also face similar pressures on services from aging, increasingly unwell yet expectant populations.However, there are also differences, largely in the way that health care is funded, organised and delivered. The NHS is a huge system for 60 million people in four home countries with diverging policies. Within England, the system is managed through 10 strategic health authorities, each responsible for about 5 million people and having the right to interpret national policy. Population based health care, including tertiary care, is funded locally via primary care trusts.
MacBride-Stewart, Sean; Marwick, Charis; Houston, Neil; Watt, Iain; Patton, Andrea; Guthrie, Bruce
It is uncertain whether improvements in primary care high-risk prescribing seen in research trials can be realised in the real-world setting. To evaluate the impact of a 1-year system-wide phase IV prescribing safety improvement initiative, which included education, feedback, support to identify patients to review, and small financial incentives. An interrupted time series analysis of targeted high-risk prescribing in all 56 general practices in NHS Forth Valley, Scotland, was performed. In 2013-2014, this focused on high-risk non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in older people and NSAIDs with oral anticoagulants; in 2014-2015, it focused on antipsychotics in older people. The primary analysis used segmented regression analysis to estimate impact at the end of the intervention, and 12 months later. The secondary analysis used difference-in-difference methods to compare Forth Valley changes with those in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC). In the primary analysis, downward trends for all three NSAID measures that were existent before the intervention statistically significantly steepened following implementation of the intervention. At the end of the intervention period, 1221 fewer patients than expected were prescribed a high-risk NSAID. In contrast, antipsychotic prescribing in older people increased slowly over time, with no intervention-associated change. In the secondary analysis, reductions at the end of the intervention period in all three NSAID measures were statistically significantly greater in NHS Forth Valley than in NHS GGC, but only significantly greater for two of these measures 12 months after the intervention finished. There were substantial and sustained reductions in the high-risk prescribing of NSAIDs, although with some waning of effect 12 months after the intervention ceased. The same intervention had no effect on antipsychotic prescribing in older people. © British Journal of General Practice 2017.
Rollow, William; Cucchiara, Peter
The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model provides a compelling vision for primary care transformation, but studies of its impact have used insufficiently patient-centered metrics with inconsistent results. We propose a framework for defining patient-centered value and a new model for value-based primary care transformation: the primary care value model (PCVM). We advocate for use of patient-centered value when measuring the impact of primary care transformation, recognition, and performance-based payment; for financial support and research and development to better define primary care value-creating activities and their implementation; and for use of the model to support primary care organizations in transformation. PMID:26951592
Atkins, Salla; Ojajärvi, Ulla; Talola, Nina; Viljamaa, Mervi; Nevalainen, Jaakko; Uitti, Jukka
Employment protects and fosters health. Occupational health services, particularly in Finland, have a central role in protecting employee health and preventing work ability problems. However, primary care within occupational health services is currently underused in informing preventive activities. This study was designed to assess whether the recording of work ability problems and improvement of follow-up of work-related primary care visits can reduce sickness absences and work disability pensions after 1 year. A pragmatic trial will be conducted using patient electronic registers and registers of the central pensions agency in Finland. Twenty-two occupational health centres will be randomised to intervention and control groups. Intervention units will receive training to improve recording of work ability illnesses in the primary care setting and improved follow-up procedures. The intervention impact will be assessed through examining rates of sickness absence across intervention and control clinics as well as before and after the intervention. The trial will develop knowledge of the intervention potential of primary care for preventing work disability pensions and sickness absence. The use of routine patient registers and pensions registers to assess the outcomes of a randomised controlled trial will bring forward trial methodology, particularly when using register-based data. If successful, the intervention will improve the quality of occupational health care primary care and contribute to reducing work disability. ISRCTN Registry reference number ISRCTN45728263 . Registered on 18 April 2016.
Holtrop, Jodi Summers; Luo, Zhehui; Alexanders, Lynn
Care management in primary care can be effective in helping patients with chronic disease improve their health; however, primary care practices are often challenged to identify revenue to pay for it. This study explored the impact of direct reimbursement on the provision of care management in a primary care physician organization. Using data on expenses and health plan reimbursement during the initial 16 months of care management implementation at 5 practices, we calculated the percentage of related costs that were covered by payments. Qualitative data from interviews with practice members were used to identify their perceived barriers to care management reimbursement and the impact of current reimbursement strategies on service delivery. Direct reimbursement for care management covered only 21% of the costs. Reimbursement varied by care manager background, patient diagnoses, insurer, and indication for the visit. Barriers to gaining reimbursement included patient resistance to copay, clinician hesitation to bill for care management visits (for fear the patient may receive a bill), differential reimbursement policies of insurers, and general lack of reimbursement for care management in many cases. Although practice-level quality improvement incentives were an alternative means of supporting care management, because these incentives were not directly tied to the service of care management, they were used for other activities ultimately supporting patient care. This study highlights the need for sufficient reimbursement to initiate and maintain care management for patients in primary care as proposed for service reforms under the Affordable Care Act. © Copyright 2015 by the American Board of Family Medicine.
Marcelin, Jasmine R; Tan, Eugene M; Marcelin, Alberto; Scheitel, Marianne; Ramu, Praveen; Hankey, Ronald; Keniya, Pritesh; Wingo, Majken; Rizza, Stacey A; North, Frederick; Chaudhry, Rajeev
Universal human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening remains low in many clinical practices despite published guidelines recommending screening for all patients between ages 13-65. Electronic clinical decision support tools have improved screening rates for many chronic diseases. We designed a quality improvement project to improve the rate of universal HIV screening of adult patients in a Midwest primary care practice using a clinical decision support tool. We conducted this quality improvement project in Rochester, Minnesota from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. Baseline primary care practice HIV screening data were acquired from January 1, 2014 to April 30, 2014. We surveyed providers and educated them about current CDC recommended screening guidelines. We then added an HIV screening alert to an existing electronic clinical decision support tool and post-intervention HIV screening rates were obtained from May 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. The primary quality outcome being assessed was change in universal HIV screening rates. Twelve thousand five hundred ninety-six unique patients were eligible for HIV screening in 2014; 327 were screened for HIV. 6,070 and 6,526 patients were seen before and after the intervention, respectively. 1.80 % of eligible patients and 3.34 % of eligible patients were screened prior to and after the intervention, respectively (difference of -1.54 % [-2.1 %, -0.99 %], p < 0.0001); OR 1.89 (1.50, 2.38). Prior to the intervention, African Americans were more likely to have been screened for HIV (OR 3.86 (2.22, 6.71; p < 0.001) than Whites, but this effect decreased significantly after the intervention (OR 1.90 (1.12, 3.21; p = 0.03). These data showed that an electronic alert almost doubled the rates of universal HIV screening by primary care providers in a Midwestern practice and reduced racial disparities, but there is still substantial room for improvement in universal screening practices. Opportunities for
Background The two step floating catchment area (2SFCA) method has emerged in the last decade as a key measure of spatial accessibility, particularly in its application to primary health care access. Many recent ‘improvements’ to the original 2SFCA method have been developed, which generally either account for distance-decay within a catchment or enable the usage of variable catchment sizes. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of various proposed methods within these two improvement groups. Moreover, its assessment focuses on how well these improvements operate within and between rural and metropolitan populations over large geographical regions. Results Demonstrating these improvements to the whole state of Victoria, Australia, this paper presents the first comparison between continuous and zonal (step) decay functions and specifically their effect within both rural and metropolitan populations. Especially in metropolitan populations, the application of either type of distance-decay function is shown to be problematic by itself. Its inclusion necessitates the addition of a variable catchment size function which can enable the 2SFCA method to dynamically define more appropriate catchments which align with actual health service supply and utilisation. Conclusion This study assesses recent ‘improvements’ to the 2SFCA when applied over large geographic regions of both large and small populations. Its findings demonstrate the necessary combination of both a distance-decay function and variable catchment size function in order for the 2SFCA to appropriately measure healthcare access across all geographical regions. PMID:23153335
Brennan, Sue E; Bosch, Marije; Buchan, Heather; Green, Sally E
Measuring team factors in evaluations of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) may provide important information for enhancing CQI processes and outcomes; however, the large number of potentially relevant factors and associated measurement instruments makes inclusion of such measures challenging. This review aims to provide guidance on the selection of instruments for measuring team-level factors by systematically collating, categorizing, and reviewing quantitative self-report instruments. We searched MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Health and Psychosocial Instruments; reference lists of systematic reviews; and citations and references of the main report of instruments. To determine the scope of the review, we developed and used a conceptual framework designed to capture factors relevant to evaluating CQI in primary care (the InQuIRe framework). We included papers reporting development or use of an instrument measuring factors relevant to teamwork. Data extracted included instrument purpose; theoretical basis, constructs measured and definitions; development methods and assessment of measurement properties. Analysis and synthesis: We used qualitative analysis of instrument content and our initial framework to develop a taxonomy for summarizing and comparing instruments. Instrument content was categorized using the taxonomy, illustrating coverage of the InQuIRe framework. Methods of development and evidence of measurement properties were reviewed for instruments with potential for use in primary care. We identified 192 potentially relevant instruments, 170 of which were analyzed to develop the taxonomy. Eighty-one instruments measured constructs relevant to CQI teams in primary care, with content covering teamwork context (45 instruments measured enabling conditions or attitudes to teamwork), team process (57 instruments measured teamwork behaviors), and team outcomes (59 instruments measured perceptions of the team or its effectiveness). Forty instruments were included for
Background Measuring team factors in evaluations of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) may provide important information for enhancing CQI processes and outcomes; however, the large number of potentially relevant factors and associated measurement instruments makes inclusion of such measures challenging. This review aims to provide guidance on the selection of instruments for measuring team-level factors by systematically collating, categorizing, and reviewing quantitative self-report instruments. Methods Data sources: We searched MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Health and Psychosocial Instruments; reference lists of systematic reviews; and citations and references of the main report of instruments. Study selection: To determine the scope of the review, we developed and used a conceptual framework designed to capture factors relevant to evaluating CQI in primary care (the InQuIRe framework). We included papers reporting development or use of an instrument measuring factors relevant to teamwork. Data extracted included instrument purpose; theoretical basis, constructs measured and definitions; development methods and assessment of measurement properties. Analysis and synthesis: We used qualitative analysis of instrument content and our initial framework to develop a taxonomy for summarizing and comparing instruments. Instrument content was categorized using the taxonomy, illustrating coverage of the InQuIRe framework. Methods of development and evidence of measurement properties were reviewed for instruments with potential for use in primary care. Results We identified 192 potentially relevant instruments, 170 of which were analyzed to develop the taxonomy. Eighty-one instruments measured constructs relevant to CQI teams in primary care, with content covering teamwork context (45 instruments measured enabling conditions or attitudes to teamwork), team process (57 instruments measured teamwork behaviors), and team outcomes (59 instruments measured perceptions of the team or
Litchfield, Ian; Gale, Nicola; Burrows, Michael; Greenfield, Sheila
The need to cope with an increasingly ageing and multimorbid population has seen a shift towards preventive health and effective management of chronic disease. This places general practice at the forefront of health service provision with an increased demand that impacts on all members of the practice team. As these pressures grow, systems become more complex and tasks delegated across a broader range of staff groups. These include receptionists who play an essential role in the successful functioning of the surgery and are a major influence on patient satisfaction. However, they do so without formal recognition of the clinical implications of their work or with any requirements for training and qualifications. Our work consists of three phases. The first will survey receptionists using the validated Work Design Questionnaire to help us understand more precisely the parameters of their role; the second involves the use of iterative focus groups to help define the systems and processes within which they work. The third and final phase will produce recommendations to increase the efficiency and safety of the key practice processes involving receptionists and identify the areas and where receptionists require targeted support. In doing so, we aim to increase job satisfaction of receptionists, improve practice efficiency and produce better outcomes for patients. Our work will be disseminated using conferences, workshops, trade journals, electronic media and through a series of publications in the peer reviewed literature. At the very least, our work will serve to prompt discussion on the clinical role of receptionists and assess the advantages of using value streams in conjunction with related tools for process improvement. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.
Litchfield, Ian; Gale, Nicola; Burrows, Michael; Greenfield, Sheila
Introduction The need to cope with an increasingly ageing and multimorbid population has seen a shift towards preventive health and effective management of chronic disease. This places general practice at the forefront of health service provision with an increased demand that impacts on all members of the practice team. As these pressures grow, systems become more complex and tasks delegated across a broader range of staff groups. These include receptionists who play an essential role in the successful functioning of the surgery and are a major influence on patient satisfaction. However, they do so without formal recognition of the clinical implications of their work or with any requirements for training and qualifications. Methods and analysis Our work consists of three phases. The first will survey receptionists using the validated Work Design Questionnaire to help us understand more precisely the parameters of their role; the second involves the use of iterative focus groups to help define the systems and processes within which they work. The third and final phase will produce recommendations to increase the efficiency and safety of the key practice processes involving receptionists and identify the areas and where receptionists require targeted support. In doing so, we aim to increase job satisfaction of receptionists, improve practice efficiency and produce better outcomes for patients. Ethics and dissemination Our work will be disseminated using conferences, workshops, trade journals, electronic media and through a series of publications in the peer reviewed literature. At the very least, our work will serve to prompt discussion on the clinical role of receptionists and assess the advantages of using value streams in conjunction with related tools for process improvement. PMID:27852720
Feng, Michelle C.; Murphy, Margaret R.; Mlinac, Michelle
Objectives This article describes results of a quality improvement project review of 5 years of capacity evaluations for independent living conducted in one Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC) Program. Methods A retrospective chart review was conducted for all patients evaluated for independent living capacity through the Boston VA HBPC Program (N = 25) to identify differences in outcomes for those with and without capacity. Descriptive information included referral sources, capacity decisions, time remaining in the home, and trajectory of patients following evaluation. Results All patients evaluated had been diagnosed with a cognitive disorder, and on average, a relatively lower prevalence of mental illness compared with the national HBPC population. Referrals were made primarily by the HBPC team. Patients with capacity were found to have remained in their home longer than those who lacked capacity. Conclusions Referral for a higher level of care was typically only recommended when no further intervention could be implemented and active risk in the home could not be managed. Clinical Implications In home capacity evaluations are complex and challenging, yet results help family and HBPC team support patients’ preferences for staying in their own home as long as possible. PMID:28111494
Gupta, Samir; Allen, Christopher; Moosa, Dilshad; MacPherson, Ana; Tamari, Itamar E
Little is known about the nature and effects of mentoring interventions on evidence-based clinician behaviors. We sought to design and evaluate a novel mentorship-based intervention to improve the usage of spirometry in primary care. This was a prospective one-year study of a pragmatic intervention across Canadian primary care sites. We established mentor-mentee pods, each including physician and nurse/allied health mentors and mentees, and enabled communication through a secure online portal; email; telephone; teleconference; videoconference; fax; and/or in person. We measured (1) change in intention to perform spirometry (through a questionnaire based on the theory of planned behavior, administered before and after the intervention); (2) mentoring uptake; and (3) feedback/satisfaction. Twenty-five of 90 (28%) nurse/allied health and 23/68 (34%) physician mentees consented across seven sites. There were no statistically significant changes in behavioral intention after the intervention. Mentors logged 56.5 hours, with most preferred communication modalities being in person (6/11; 55%) and email (4/11; 36%). Mentees most commonly used email (9/18; 50%), followed by in-person communication (6/18; 33%). Mentees were highly satisfied with the experience, and most (89%) would participate in a similar program again. A mentorship-based intervention can successfully engage physicians, nurses, and allied health practitioners through multiple communication platforms. Email seems to be an important medium for this activity. Such interventions can be highly satisfying and may affect certain constructs underlying mentees' behavioral intentions. Such a program can be replicated across diseases, and future research should measure effects on behavior, patient outcomes, and the sustainability of effects.
Bauer, Amy M.; Collins, Laura; Dugdale, David C.
Abstract Depression is one of the more common diagnoses encountered in primary care, and primary care in turn provides the majority of care for patients with depression. Many approaches have been tried in efforts to improve the outcomes of depression management. This article outlines the partnership between the University of Washington (UW) Neighborhood Clinics and the UW Department of Psychiatry in implementing a collaborative care approach to integrating the management of anxiety and depression in the ambulatory primary care setting. This program was built on the chronic care model, which utilizes a team approach to caring for the patient. In addition to the patient and the primary care provider (PCP), the team included a medical social worker (MSW) as care manager and a psychiatrist as team consultant. The MSW would manage a registry of patients with depression at a clinic with several PCPs, contacting the patients on a regular basis to assess their status, and consulting with the psychiatrist on a weekly basis to discuss patients who were not achieving the goals of care. Any recommendation (eg, a change in medication dose or class) made by the psychiatrist was communicated to the PCP, who in turn would work with the patient on the new recommendation. This collaborative care approach resulted in a significant improvement in the number of patients who achieved care plan goals. The authors believe this is an effective method for health systems to integrate mental health services into primary care. (Population Health Management 2016;19:81–87) PMID:26348355
Short, Duncan; Frischer, Martin; Bashford, James; Ashcroft, Darren
Background Despite evidence-based guidelines, aspirin prescribing for the secondary prevention of stroke is sub-optimal. Little is known about why general practitioners do not prescribe aspirin to indicated patients. We sought to identify and describe factors that lead general practitioners (GPs) not to prescribe aspirin to eligible stroke patients. This was the first stage of a study exploring the need for and means of improving levels of appropriate aspirin prescribing. Method Qualitative interviews with 15 GPs in the West Midlands. Results Initially, many GPs did not regard their prescribing as difficult or sub-optimal. However on reflection, they gave several reasons that lead to them not prescribing aspirin for eligible patients or being uncertain. These include: difficulties in applying generic guidelines to individuals presenting in consultations, patient resistance to taking aspirin, the prioritisation of other issues in a time constrained consultation and problems in reviewing the medication of existing stroke patients. Conclusion In order to improve levels of appropriate aspirin prescribing, the nature and presentation risk information available to GPs and patients must be improved. GPs need support in assessing the risks and benefits of prescribing for patients with combinations of complicating risk factors, while means of facilitating improved GP-patient dialogue are required to help address patient uncertainty. A decision analysis based support system is one option. Decision analysis could synthesise current evidence and identify risk data for a range of patient profiles commonly presenting in primary care. These data could then be incorporated into a user-friendly computerised decision support system to help facilitate improved GP-patient communication. Measures of optimum prescribing based upon aggregated prescribing data must be interpreted with caution. It is not possible to assess whether low levels of prescribing reflect appropriate or
Flinter, Margaret; Hsu, Clarissa; Cromp, DeAnn; Ladden, MaryJoan D.
The years since the passage of the Affordable Care Act have seen substantial changes in the organization and delivery of primary care. These changes have emphasized greater team involvement in care and expansion of the roles of each team member including registered nurses (RNs). This study examined the roles of RNs in 30 exemplary primary care practices. We identified the emergence of new roles and activities for RNs characterized by greater involvement in face-to-face patient care and care management, their own daily schedule of patient visits and contacts, and considerable autonomy in the care of their patients. PMID:28323721
de Villiers, M
A symposium on Learning in Primary Care was held in Cape Town, South Africa, as a pre-conference workshop to the 9th International Ottawa Conference on Medical Education. The aim of this report is to inform medical educationalists of important issues in learning in primary care and to stimulate further debate. Four international speakers gave presentations on their experiences in teaching and learning in primary care. Objective positive outcome measures include acquiring clinical skills equally well in general practice as in hospital, and improved history taking, physical examination and communication skills learning. Students regard the course as an essential requirement for learning and are appreciative of the wider aspect to learning provided by the community, giving a more holistic view of health. A SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) of teaching and learning in primary care identified that learning in primary care is of a generalist nature and reality based, but is hampered by a lack of resources. The increased professionalization of teaching in primary care results in better training, cost containment, and improved quality of health care at community level. It is important to focus on turning threats into opportunities. Academic credibility needs to be established by conducting research on learning in primary care and developing the conceptual basis of primary care.
Hamilton, Alison B; Brunner, Julian; Cain, Cindy; Chuang, Emmeline; Luger, Tana M; Canelo, Ismelda; Rubenstein, Lisa; Yano, Elizabeth M
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has undertaken primary care transformation based on patient-centered medical home (PCMH) tenets. VHA PCMH models are designed for the predominantly male Veteran population, and require tailoring to meet women Veterans' needs. We used evidence-based quality improvement (EBQI), a stakeholder-driven implementation strategy, in a cluster randomized controlled trial across 12 sites (eight EBQI, four control) that are members of a Practice-Based Research Network. EBQI involves engaging multilevel, inter-professional leaders and staff as stakeholders in reviewing evidence and setting QI priorities. The goal of this analysis was to examine processes of engaging stakeholders in early implementation of EBQI to tailor VHA's medical home for women. Four inter-professional regional stakeholder planning meetings were conducted; these meetings engaged stakeholders by providing regional data about gender disparities in Veterans' care experiences. Subsequent to each meeting, qualitative interviews were conducted with 87 key stakeholders (leaders and staff). Stakeholders were asked to describe QI efforts and the use of data to change aspects of care, including women's health care. Interview transcripts were summarized and coded using a hybrid deductive/inductive analytic approach. The presentation of regional-level data about gender disparities resulted in heightened awareness and stakeholder buy-in and decision-making related to women's health-focused QI. Interviews revealed that stakeholders were familiar with QI, with regional and facility leaders aware of inter-disciplinary committees and efforts to foster organizational change, including PCMH transformation. These efforts did not typically focus on women's health, though some informal efforts had been undertaken. Barriers to engaging in QI included lack of communication across clinical service lines, fluidity in staffing, and lack of protected time. Inter-professional, multilevel
Peveler, R; Kendrick, T
Because depressive illness is so prevalent, the majority of patients are managed in primary care, without recourse to specialist services. Primary care management is seen to fall short of the standards set in secondary care, but unfortunately there is as yet relatively little evidence from primary care to guide management in this distinctive patient population. Guidelines have been introduced as a means of quality management, and their value in improving care has been assessed in trials. To date, the benefits of the implementation of guidelines have been marginal at best. By contrast, strategies which improve the access of patients to specialist services do seem to be beneficial. There is also evidence that such strategies may be associated with 'cost-offset'. Choice of antidepressant medication for maximum cost benefit should also be informed by an evidence base, which is beginning to be accumulated. Further research on this topic in the primary care context is still needed.
Murphy, John W
Primary health care has received a lot of attention since the Alma Ata Conference, convened by the World Health Organization in 1978. Key to the strategy to improve health care outlined at the Alma Ata conference is citizen participation in every phase of service delivery. Although the goals of primary health care have not been achieved, the addition of narrative medicine may facilitate these ends. But a new epistemology is necessary, one that is compatible with narrative medicine, so that local knowledge is elevated in importance and incorporated into the planning, implementation, and evaluation of health programs. In this way, relevant, sustainable, and affordable care can be provided. The aim of this article is to discuss how primary health care might be improved through the introduction of narrative medicine into planning primary health care delivery. PMID:26222094
Background More than three decades after the 1978 Declaration of Alma-Ata enshrined the goal of ‘health for all’, high-quality primary care services remain undelivered to the great majority of the world’s poor. This failure to effectively reach the most vulnerable populations has been, in part, a failure to develop and implement appropriate and effective primary care delivery models. This paper examines a root cause of these failures, namely that the inability to achieve clear and practical consensus around the scope and aims of primary care may be contributing to ongoing operational inertia. The present work also examines integrated models of care as a strategy to move beyond conceptual dissonance in primary care and toward implementation. Finally, this paper examines the strengths and weaknesses of a particular model, the World Health Organization’s Integrated Management of Adolescent and Adult Illness (IMAI), and its potential as a guidepost toward improving the quality of primary care delivery in poor settings. Discussion Integration and integrated care may be an important approach in establishing a new paradigm of primary care delivery, though overall, current evidence is mixed. However, a number of successful specific examples illustrate the potential for clinical and service integration to positively impact patient care in primary care settings. One example deserving of further examination is the IMAI, developed by the World Health Organization as an operational model that integrates discrete vertical interventions into a comprehensive delivery system encompassing triage and screening, basic acute and chronic disease care, basic prevention and treatment services, and follow-up and referral guidelines. IMAI is an integrated model delivered at a single point-of-care using a standard approach to each patient based on the universal patient history and physical examination. The evidence base on IMAI is currently weak, but whether or not IMAI itself
Vasan, Ashwin; Ellner, Andrew; Lawn, Stephen D; Gove, Sandy; Anatole, Manzi; Gupta, Neil; Drobac, Peter; Nicholson, Tom; Seung, Kwonjune; Mabey, David C; Farmer, Paul E
More than three decades after the 1978 Declaration of Alma-Ata enshrined the goal of 'health for all', high-quality primary care services remain undelivered to the great majority of the world's poor. This failure to effectively reach the most vulnerable populations has been, in part, a failure to develop and implement appropriate and effective primary care delivery models. This paper examines a root cause of these failures, namely that the inability to achieve clear and practical consensus around the scope and aims of primary care may be contributing to ongoing operational inertia. The present work also examines integrated models of care as a strategy to move beyond conceptual dissonance in primary care and toward implementation. Finally, this paper examines the strengths and weaknesses of a particular model, the World Health Organization's Integrated Management of Adolescent and Adult Illness (IMAI), and its potential as a guidepost toward improving the quality of primary care delivery in poor settings. Integration and integrated care may be an important approach in establishing a new paradigm of primary care delivery, though overall, current evidence is mixed. However, a number of successful specific examples illustrate the potential for clinical and service integration to positively impact patient care in primary care settings. One example deserving of further examination is the IMAI, developed by the World Health Organization as an operational model that integrates discrete vertical interventions into a comprehensive delivery system encompassing triage and screening, basic acute and chronic disease care, basic prevention and treatment services, and follow-up and referral guidelines. IMAI is an integrated model delivered at a single point-of-care using a standard approach to each patient based on the universal patient history and physical examination. The evidence base on IMAI is currently weak, but whether or not IMAI itself ultimately proves useful in
Korotana, Laurel M; Dobson, Keith S; Pusch, Dennis; Josephson, Trevor
Research has consistently demonstrated a link between the experience of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and adult health conditions, including mental and physical health problems. While a focus on the prevention or mitigation of adversity in childhood is an important direction of many programs, many individuals do not access support services until adulthood, when health problems may be fairly engrained. It is not clear which interventions have the strongest evidence base to support the many adults who present to services with a history of ACEs. The current review examines the evidence base for psychosocial interventions for adults with a history of ACEs. The review focuses on interventions that may be provided in primary care, as that is the setting where most patients will first present and are most likely to receive treatment. A systematic review of the literature was completed using PsycInfo and PubMed databases, with 99 studies identified that met inclusion and exclusion criteria. These studies evaluated a range of interventions with varying levels of supportive evidence. Overall, cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT) have the most evidence for improving health problems - in particular, improving mental health and reducing health-risk behaviors - in adults with a history of ACEs. Expressive writing and mindfulness-based therapies also show promise, whereas other treatments have less supportive evidence. Limitations of the current literature base are discussed and research directions for the field are provided.
Metzler, Danielle H; Mahoney, David; Freedy, John R
Investigation for a possible anxiety disorder should be considered in patients with multiple or persistent anxiety symptoms or multiple somatic complaints without a clear somatic etiology. The ideal treatment for anxiety disorders is a combination of pharmacologic and behavioral strategies. As primary care health care evolves, it is expected that the management of mental health disorders (including anxiety disorders) will largely occur in the context of collaborative care models in which patients and primary care clinicians are assisted by trained case managers who help facilitate a more comprehensive, holistic treatment plan between primary care and mental health providers. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Reid, Steve; Mash, Bob
This article is part of a series on African Primary Care Research and focuses on the topic of qualitative interviewing in primary care. In particular it looks at issues of study design, sample size, sampling and interviewing in relation to individual and focus group interviews.There is a particular focus on helping postgraduate students at a Masters level to write their research proposals.
McGwin, Gerald; Kohler, Connie L.; Kristofco, Robert E.; Datla, Raju V.; Wall, Terry C.
Purpose. To evaluate the efficacy of a physician-targeted website to improve knowledge and self-reported behavior relevant to strabismus and amblyopia (“vision”) in primary care settings. Methods. Eligible providers (filing Medicaid claims for at least eight well-child checks at ages 3 or 4 years, 1 year before study enrollment), randomly assigned to control (chlamydia and blood pressure) or vision groups, accessed four web-based educational modules, programmed to present interactive case vignettes with embedded questions and feedback. Each correct response, assigned a value of +1 to a maximum of +7, was used to calculate a summary score per provider. Responses from intervention providers (IPs) at baseline and two follow-up points were compared to responses to vision questions, taken at the end of the study, from control providers (CPs). Results. Most IPs (57/65) responded at baseline and after the short delay (within 1 hour after baseline for 38 IPs). A subgroup (27 IPs and 42 CPs) completed all vision questions after a long delay averaging 1.8 years. Scores from IPs improved after the short delay (median score, 3 vs. 6; P = 0.0065). Compared to CPs, scores from IPs were similar at baseline (P = 0.6473) and higher after the short-term (P < 0.0001) and long-term (P < 0.05) delay. Conclusions. Significant improvements after the short delay demonstrate the efficacy of the website and the potential for accessible, standardized vision education. Although improvements subsided over time, the IPs' scores did not return to baseline levels and were significantly better compared to CPs tested 1 to 3 years later. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01109459.) PMID:21730344
Taylor, James A; Rietberg, Krista; Greenfield, Lauren; Bibus, David; Yasuda, Kyle; Marcuse, Edgar K; Duchin, Jeffrey S
To determine if the addition of a physician peer educator would lead to improved immunization quality when compared to the traditional education provided as part of a vaccines for children (VFC) site visit. A randomized controlled trial was conducted. Study participants were private pediatric and family medicine practices. Both the intervention and control groups received a VFC visit; in intervention practices this visit was augmented by a presentation by the physician peer educator. Data on immunization rates and quality of immunization services were collected prior to the VFC visits and approximately 1 year later. A total of 73 practices participated, including 37 in the intervention group and 36 in the control group. At follow-up there was no difference in practice immunization rates (PIR) between intervention and control practices (mean rates 71.4% and 69.6%, respectively, P=0.94). There were also no significant differences between groups for any of the quality measures except that significantly more intervention practices used the appropriate length needle for vaccine injections in 2-month-old infants at follow-up (P=0.02). When assessing the overall impact of VFC visits, no significant increase in PIR were noted from baseline to follow-up assessments. However, statistically significant improvements in several quality measures were found. The addition of a physician peer educator did not result in improved immunization quality when compared to VFC visits alone. The educational content of the VFC site visit was associated with improved quality of immunization services delivered by primary care practices.
Zimmerman, Richard K; Nowalk, Mary Patricia; Lin, Chyongchiou Jeng; Hannibal, Kristin; Moehling, Krissy K; Huang, Hsin-Hui; Matambanadzo, Annamore; Troy, Judith; Allred, Norma J; Gallik, Greg; Reis, Evelyn C
To increase childhood influenza vaccination rates using a toolkit and early vaccine delivery in a randomized cluster trial. Twenty primary care practices treating children (range for n=536-8183) were randomly assigned to Intervention and Control arms to test the effectiveness of an evidence-based practice improvement toolkit (4 Pillars Toolkit) and early vaccine supplies for use among disadvantaged children on influenza vaccination rates among children 6 months-18 years. Follow-up staff meetings and surveys were used to assess use and acceptability of the intervention strategies in the Intervention arm. Rates for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 influenza seasons were compared. Two-level generalized linear mixed modeling was used to evaluate outcomes. Overall increases in influenza vaccination rates were significantly greater in the Intervention arm (7.9 percentage points) compared with the Control arm (4.4 percentage points; P<0.034). These rate changes represent 4522 additional doses in the Intervention arm vs. 1390 additional doses in the Control arm. This effect of the intervention was observed despite the fact that rates increased significantly in both arms - 8/10 Intervention (all P<0.001) and 7/10 Control sites (P-values=0.04 to <0.001). Rates in two Intervention sites with pre-intervention vaccination rates >58% did not significantly increase. In regression analyses, a child's likelihood of being vaccinated was significantly higher with: younger age, white race (Odds ratio [OR]=1.29; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.23-1.34), having commercial insurance (OR=1.30; 95%CI=1.25-1.35), higher pre-intervention practice vaccination rate (OR=1.25; 95%CI=1.16-1.34), and being in the Intervention arm (OR=1.23; 95%CI=1.01-1.50). Early delivery of influenza vaccine was rated by Intervention practices as an effective strategy for raising rates. Implementation of a multi-strategy toolkit and early vaccine supplies can significantly improve influenza vaccination rates among
Background Gout is estimated to affect 1.4% of adults in the UK. Appropriate and timely management is essential to reduce the risk of further flares, complications, and to reduce cardiovascular disease risk. The British Society for Rheumatology and British Health Professionals in Rheumatology (BSR/BHPR) and the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) have published guidance regarding the management of gout, thereby providing standards against which performance can be measured. This audit was designed to assess the extent to which patients diagnosed with gout in one primary care medical practice in North Staffordshire, UK, are managed in accordance with current best practice guidelines, and to identify strategies for improvement where appropriate. Methods Audit criteria were derived from the EULAR and BSR/BHPR guidelines; standards were set arbitrarily, but with consideration of patient comorbidity and other factors which may influence concordance. An electronic search of the practice records was performed to identify adults with a diagnosis of gout. Medical record review with a descriptive analysis was undertaken to assess the extent to which medical management adhered to the predefined standards. Results Of the total ≥18 year-old practice population (n = 8686), 305 (3%) patient records included a diagnosis of gout. Of these, 74% (n = 226) had an electronic record of serum uric acid (SUA), and 11% (n = 34) and 53% (n = 162) a measure of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) ever and serum glucose since diagnosis respectively. 34% (n = 105) of patients had ever taken urate-lowering therapy with 25% (n = 77) currently prescribed this at the time of data extraction. Dose adjustment and monitoring of treatment according to SUA was found to be inadequate. Provision of lifestyle advice and consideration of comorbidities was also lacking. Conclusions The primary care management of gout in this practice was not concordant with national
Sabo, Brenda; Johnston, Grace
Reports highlight the growing unmet need for palliative care as it applies to all cancers, yet the system and health care professionals (HCP) appear slow to respond. The following discussion paper highlights the current state of palliative care within the context of the primary malignant brain tumour (PMBT) population and argues for a shift in the current health care system's approach, which continues to place greater emphasis on cure over care. An exploration of extant literature over the past 10 years. The current literature demonstrates that timely referrals to palliative care consult teams and access to community-based resources have been associated with fewer hospitalizations and visits to emergency departments and a decrease in the initiation of invasive, aggressive treatment at end of life. Timely referral to palliative care has also been shown to reduce distress, enhance quality of life and, in some cases, increase life expectancy. Earlier referral to palliative care has yet to become a reality for many patients diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses and, in particular, those with a PMBT. More research is needed to uncover and challenge the barriers to early transition including communication issues among professionals, patients and families around palliative care.
Stein, Ruth E K; Zitner, Lauren E; Jensen, Peter S
Depression in adolescents is underrecognized and undertreated despite its poor long-term outcomes, including risk for suicide. Primary care settings may be critical venues for the identification of depression, but there is little information about the usefulness of primary care interventions. We sought to examine the evidence for the treatment of depression in primary care settings, focusing on evidence concerning psychosocial, educational, and/or supportive intervention strategies. Available data on brief psychosocial treatments for adolescent depression in primary settings were reviewed. Given the paucity of direct studies, we also drew on related literature to summarize available evidence whether brief, psychosocial support from a member of the primary care team, with or without medication, might improve depression outcomes. We identified 37 studies relevant to treating adolescent depression in primary care settings. Only 4 studies directly examined the impact of primary care-delivered psychosocial interventions for adolescent depression, but they suggest that such interventions can be effective. Indirect evidence from other psychosocial/behavioral interventions, including anticipatory guidance and efforts to enhance treatment adherence, and adult depression studies also show benefits of primary care-delivered interventions as well as the impact of provider training to enhance psychosocial skills. There is potential for successful treatment of adolescent depression in primary care, in view of evidence that brief, psychosocial support, with or without medication, has been shown to improve a range of outcomes, including adolescent depression itself. Given the great public health problem posed by adolescent depression, the likelihood that most depressed adolescents will not receive specialty services, and new guidelines for managing adolescent depression in primary care, clinicians may usefully consider initiation of supportive interventions in their primary care
Guthrie, Bruce; Kavanagh, Kimberley; Robertson, Chris; Barnett, Karen; Treweek, Shaun; Petrie, Dennis; Ritchie, Lewis; Bennie, Marion
To evaluate the effectiveness of feedback on safety of prescribing compared with moderately enhanced usual care. Three arm, highly pragmatic cluster randomised trial. 262/278 (94%) primary care practices in three Scottish health boards. Practices were randomised to: "usual care," consisting of emailed educational material with support for searching to identify patients (88 practices at baseline, 86 analysed); usual care plus feedback on practice's high risk prescribing sent quarterly on five occasions (87 practices, 86 analysed); or usual care plus the same feedback incorporating a behavioural change component (87 practices, 86 analysed). The primary outcome was a patient level composite of six prescribing measures relating to high risk use of antipsychotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, and antiplatelets. Secondary outcomes were the six individual measures. The primary analysis compared high risk prescribing in the two feedback arms against usual care at 15 months. Secondary analyses examined immediate change and change in trend of high risk prescribing associated with implementation of the intervention within each arm. In the primary analysis, high risk prescribing as measured by the primary outcome fell from 6.0% (3332/55 896) to 5.1% (2845/55 872) in the usual care arm, compared with 5.9% (3341/56 194) to 4.6% (2587/56 478) in the feedback only arm (odds ratio 0.88 (95% confidence interval 0.80 to 0.96) compared with usual care; P=0.007) and 6.2% (3634/58 569) to 4.6% (2686/58 582) in the feedback plus behavioural change component arm (0.86 (0.78 to 0.95); P=0.002). In the pre-specified secondary analysis of change in trend within each arm, the usual care educational intervention had no effect on the existing declining trend in high risk prescribing. Both types of feedback were associated with significantly more rapid decline in high risk prescribing after the intervention compared with before. Feedback of prescribing safety data
Kavanagh, Kimberley; Robertson, Chris; Barnett, Karen; Treweek, Shaun; Petrie, Dennis; Ritchie, Lewis; Bennie, Marion
Objective To evaluate the effectiveness of feedback on safety of prescribing compared with moderately enhanced usual care. Design Three arm, highly pragmatic cluster randomised trial. Setting and participants 262/278 (94%) primary care practices in three Scottish health boards. Interventions Practices were randomised to: “usual care,” consisting of emailed educational material with support for searching to identify patients (88 practices at baseline, 86 analysed); usual care plus feedback on practice’s high risk prescribing sent quarterly on five occasions (87 practices, 86 analysed); or usual care plus the same feedback incorporating a behavioural change component (87 practices, 86 analysed). Main outcome measures The primary outcome was a patient level composite of six prescribing measures relating to high risk use of antipsychotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, and antiplatelets. Secondary outcomes were the six individual measures. The primary analysis compared high risk prescribing in the two feedback arms against usual care at 15 months. Secondary analyses examined immediate change and change in trend of high risk prescribing associated with implementation of the intervention within each arm. Results In the primary analysis, high risk prescribing as measured by the primary outcome fell from 6.0% (3332/55 896) to 5.1% (2845/55 872) in the usual care arm, compared with 5.9% (3341/56 194) to 4.6% (2587/56 478) in the feedback only arm (odds ratio 0.88 (95% confidence interval 0.80 to 0.96) compared with usual care; P=0.007) and 6.2% (3634/58 569) to 4.6% (2686/58 582) in the feedback plus behavioural change component arm (0.86 (0.78 to 0.95); P=0.002). In the pre-specified secondary analysis of change in trend within each arm, the usual care educational intervention had no effect on the existing declining trend in high risk prescribing. Both types of feedback were associated with significantly more rapid decline in high risk
Piccinocchi, Gaetano; Piccinocchi, Roberto
Treatment of chronic pain is challenging. The Arkys project was initiated in Italy to assist general practitioners (GPs) in the management of chronic pain. The main objective of this study was to determine the usefulness of Arkys for selecting new therapeutic strategies. An online interactive questionnaire for assessing pain and guiding therapeutic decisions was made available to GPs participating to Arkys. The GPs were invited to complete the questionnaire for each patient who presented moderate-severe chronic pain, and to decide on a new analgesic treatment based on the information provided by the questionnaire. Two hundred and forty four GPs participated with a total of 3035 patients. Patients (mean age 68.9 years) had mostly chronic non-cancer pain (87.7%). In 42.3%, pain had neuropathic components. Only 53.6% of patients were in treatment with analgesics (strong opioids, 38.9%; NSAIDs, 32.6%; weak opioids, 25.6%; anti-epileptics, 17.3%; paracetamol, 14.9%). Use of the questionnaire resulted in the prescription of analgesics to all patients and in increased prescription of strong opioids (69.7%). NSAID prescription decreased (12.8%), while anti-epileptics use remained stable. These findings show that current management of chronic pain in primary care is far from optimal and that efforts are needed to educate GPs and improve guideline implementation. PMID:27478585
Phillips, Christine B; Pearce, Christopher M; Hall, Sally; Travaglia, Joanne; de Lusignan, Simon; Love, Tom; Kljakovic, Marjan
To review the literature on different models of clinical governance and to explore their relevance to Australian primary health care, and their potential contributions on quality and safety. 25 electronic databases, scanning reference lists of articles and consultation with experts in the field. We searched publications in English after 1999, but a search of the German language literature for a specific model type was also undertaken. The grey literature was explored through a hand search of the medical trade press and websites of relevant national and international clearing houses and professional or industry bodies. 11 software packages commonly used in Australian general practice were reviewed for any potential contribution to clinical governance. 19 high-quality studies that assessed outcomes were included. All abstracts were screened by one researcher, and 10% were screened by a second researcher to crosscheck screening quality. Studies were reviewed and coded by four reviewers, with all studies being rated using standard critical appraisal tools such as the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology checklist. Two researchers reviewed the Australian general practice software. Interviews were conducted with 16 informants representing service, regional primary health care, national and international perspectives. Most evidence supports governance models which use targeted, peer-led feedback on the clinician's own practice. Strategies most used in clinical governance models were audit, performance against indicators, and peer-led reflection on evidence or performance. The evidence base for clinical governance is fragmented, and focuses mainly on process rather than outcomes. Few publications address models that enhance safety, efficiency, sustainability and the economics of primary health care. Locally relevant clinical indicators, the use of computerised medical record systems, regional primary health care organisations that have the
Wong, Carlos K H; Fung, Colman S C; Yu, Esther Y T; Wan, Eric Y F; Chan, Anca K C; Lam, Cindy L K
This study examined whether temporal trends exist in treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and quality of diabetes care after implementation of quality improvement initiative in primary care setting. We conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study of 202,284 patients with T2D who were routinely managed in primary care clinics. We examined the change over time and the variability between clinics in quality-of-care from Hospital Authority administrative data over a five-year period (2009-2013), and used multilevel logistic regression to adjust for patient and clinic characteristics. Observational period was partitioned in five calendar years. Ten quality-of-care criteria were selected: adherence to seven process of care criteria (HbA1c test, renal function test, full lipid profile, urine protein analysis, retinal screening, lipid-lowering agent prescriptions among patients with hypercholesterolaemia, and ACEI/ARB prescriptions among patients with microalbuminuria) and three outcome of care criteria (HbA1c≤7%, BP≤130/80mmHg, LDL-C≤2.6mmol/L). Variability of standards between clinics was assessed using intra-cluster correlation coefficients. Characteristics of Patients with T2D managed in primary care changed substantially during the observational period, with increasing age and usage of insulin, longer duration of diabetes but improved metabolic profiles (all P-trend<0.001). Performance rates of the seven process and three clinical outcome of care criteria increased remarkably over time (all P-trend<0.001). Variations in retinal screening delivery between clinics was considerable, albeit decreasing over time. Coinciding with implementation of quality improvement initiative, quality of diabetes care improved significantly in the past 5 years, in part attributable to benefits of integrated multidisciplinary diabetes management. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Janamian, Tina; Upham, Susan J; Crossland, Lisa; Jackson, Claire L
To conduct a systematic review of the literature to identify existing online primary care quality improvement tools and resources to support organisational improvement related to the seven elements in the Primary Care Practice Improvement Tool (PC-PIT), with the identified tools and resources to progress to a Delphi study for further assessment of relevance and utility. Systematic review of the international published and grey literature. CINAHL, Embase and PubMed databases were searched in March 2014 for articles published between January 2004 and December 2013. GreyNet International and other relevant websites and repositories were also searched in March-April 2014 for documents dated between 1992 and 2012. All citations were imported into a bibliographic database. Published and unpublished tools and resources were included in the review if they were in English, related to primary care quality improvement and addressed any of the seven PC-PIT elements of a high-performing practice. Tools and resources that met the eligibility criteria were then evaluated for their accessibility, relevance, utility and comprehensiveness using a four-criteria appraisal framework. We used a data extraction template to systematically extract information from eligible tools and resources. A content analysis approach was used to explore the tools and resources and collate relevant information: name of the tool or resource, year and country of development, author, name of the organisation that provided access and its URL, accessibility information or problems, overview of each tool or resource and the quality improvement element(s) it addresses. If available, a copy of the tool or resource was downloaded into the bibliographic database, along with supporting evidence (published or unpublished) on its use in primary care. This systematic review identified 53 tools and resources that can potentially be provided as part of a suite of tools and resources to support primary care practices in
GMOs and UMOs) and flight surgeons, but not the interns and residents. The implicit assumption we made was that, for purposes of providing care to...than half of all of its providers being counted as providing primary care. This high value is attributable mainly to the large numbers of GMOs , UMOs...being either GMOs or contract civilians. The Navy couldn’t rely on only active-duty clinicians to provide primary care under the HMO system. The Navy
Integrating chronic care with primary care activities: enriching healthcare staff knowledge and skills and improving glycemic control of a cohort of people with diabetes through the First Line Diabetes Care Project in the Philippines
Ku, Grace Marie V.; Kegels, Guy
Background This study investigated the effects of integrating primary chronic care with current healthcare activities in two local government health units (LGHU) of the Philippines on knowledge and skills of the LGHU staff and clinical outcomes for people with diabetes. Design Integration was accomplished through health service reorganization, (re)distribution of chronic care tasks, and training of LGHU staff. Levels of the staff's pre- and post-training diabetes knowledge and of their self-assessment of diabetes care-related skills were measured. Primary diabetes care with emphasis on self-care development was provided to a cohort of people with diabetes. Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and obesity measures were collected prior to and one year after full project implementation. Results The training workshop improved diabetes knowledge (p<0.001) and self-assessed skills (p<0.001) of the LGHU staff. Significant reductions in HbA1c (p<0.001), waist–hip ratio (p<0.001) and waist circumference (p=0.011) of the cohort were noted. Although the reduction in HbA1c was somewhat greater among those whose community-based care providers showed improvement in knowledge and self-assessed skills, the difference was not statistically significant. Conclusions Primary care for chronic conditions such as diabetes may be integrated with other healthcare activities in health services of low-to-middle-income countries such as the Philippines, utilizing pre-existing human resources for health, and may improve clinical endpoints. PMID:25361726
Background Primary care physicians routinely provide dementia care, but may lack the clinical skills and awareness of available resources to provide optimal care. We conducted a community-based pilot dementia training intervention designed to both improve clinical competency and increase utilization of local dementia care services. Methods Physicians (N = 29) and affiliated staff (N = 24) participated in a one-day training program on dementia screening, diagnosis and management that included direct engagement with local support service providers. Questionnaires about their dementia care competency and referral patterns were completed before and 6 months after the training intervention. Results Physicians reported significantly higher overall confidence in their dementia care competency 6 months post-training compared to pre-training. The largest reported improvements were in their ability to educate patients and caregivers about dementia and making appropriate referrals to community care services. Participants also reported markedly increased use of cognitive screening tools in providing care. Community service providers recorded approximately 160 physician-initiated referrals over a 2 year-period post-training, compared to few beforehand. Conclusions Combining a targeted physician practice-based educational intervention with community service engagement improves dementia care competency in clinicians and promotes linkages between clinical and community dementia care providers. PMID:24325194
Ariza, Adolfo J; Ruch-Ross, Holly; Sawyer, Alexis; Batey, Sue; Maloney, Michelle; Wall, Tim; Hines, Valerie; Robles, Kattia; Sontag, Debbie; Haverkamp, Karen Susan; Lopez, Susan; Binns, Helen J
We evaluated pediatric obesity clinics for internal referrals developed at 5 primary care offices. Clinics developed site-specific strategies: 1 group approach and 4 clinics providing individualized care only. Clinicians reported patient/family motivation as an important referral consideration and compliance as the greatest challenge and perceive clinics to have provided some help.
Background In the UK around 22% of men and 24% of women are obese, and there are varying but worrying levels in other European countries. Obesity is a chronic condition that carries an important health risk. National guidelines, for use in England, on the management of people who are overweight or obese have been published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE, 2006). NICE recommendations for primary care teams are: determine the degree of overweight and obesity; assess lifestyle, comorbidities and willingness to change; offer multicomponent management of overweight and obesity; referral to external services when appropriate. This study investigates a tailored intervention to improve the implementation of these recommendations by primary care teams. Methods/Design The study is a cluster randomised controlled trial. Primary care teams will be recruited from the East Midlands of England, and randomised into two study arms: 1) the study group, in which primary care teams are offered a set of tailored interventions to help implement the NICE guidelines for overweight and obesity; or 2) the control group in which primary care teams continue to practice usual care. The primary outcome is the proportion of overweight or obese patients for whom the primary care team adheres to the NICE guidelines. Secondary outcomes include the proportion of patients with a record of lifestyle assessment, referral to external weight loss services, the proportion of obese patients who lose weight during the intervention period, and the mean weight change over the same period. Discussion Although often recommended, the methods of tailoring implementation interventions to account for the determinants of practice are not well developed. This study is part of a programme of studies seeking to develop the methods of tailored implementation. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN07457585. Registered 09/08/2013. Randomisation commenced 30/08/2013. PMID
Krause, Jane; Agarwal, Shona; Bodicoat, Danielle H; Ring, Arne; Shepherd, David; Rogers, Stephen; Wensing, Michel; Baker, Richard
In the UK around 22% of men and 24% of women are obese, and there are varying but worrying levels in other European countries. Obesity is a chronic condition that carries an important health risk. National guidelines, for use in England, on the management of people who are overweight or obese have been published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE, 2006). NICE recommendations for primary care teams are: determine the degree of overweight and obesity; assess lifestyle, comorbidities and willingness to change; offer multicomponent management of overweight and obesity; referral to external services when appropriate. This study investigates a tailored intervention to improve the implementation of these recommendations by primary care teams. The study is a cluster randomised controlled trial. Primary care teams will be recruited from the East Midlands of England, and randomised into two study arms: 1) the study group, in which primary care teams are offered a set of tailored interventions to help implement the NICE guidelines for overweight and obesity; or 2) the control group in which primary care teams continue to practice usual care. The primary outcome is the proportion of overweight or obese patients for whom the primary care team adheres to the NICE guidelines. Secondary outcomes include the proportion of patients with a record of lifestyle assessment, referral to external weight loss services, the proportion of obese patients who lose weight during the intervention period, and the mean weight change over the same period. Although often recommended, the methods of tailoring implementation interventions to account for the determinants of practice are not well developed. This study is part of a programme of studies seeking to develop the methods of tailored implementation. Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN07457585. Registered 09/08/2013. Randomisation commenced 30/08/2013.
Ghesquiere, Angela R.; Patel, Sapana R.; Kaplan, Daniel B.; Bruce, Martha L.
Objective Bereaved patients are often seen in primary care settings. While most do not require formal support, physicians may be called upon to provide support to some bereaved, particularly those with bereavement-related mental health disorders like complicated grief and bereavement-related depression. Research evidence on physician bereavement care is scant. We make recommendations for future research in this area. Design Literature review, focusing on studies conducted between 1996 and 2013 in the United States. Searches of Medline and PsychInfo, along with hand searches of reference sections, was conducted. Results The limited existing research indicates substantial gaps in the research literature, especially in the areas of primary care physician skill and capacity, patient-level outcomes, and the quality of research methodology. No U.S. studies have focused specifically on care for bereavement-related mental health disorders. We provide recommendations about how to improve research about primary care bereavement care. Conclusions The primary care sector offers ample opportunities for research on bereavement care. With greater research efforts, there may be improvements to quality of bereavement care in primary care, in general, and also to the accurate detection and appropriate referral for bereavement-related mental health conditions. PMID:24955568
Abstract This article is part of a series on African Primary Care Research and focuses on the topic of qualitative interviewing in primary care. In particular it looks at issues of study design, sample size, sampling and interviewing in relation to individual and focus group interviews. There is a particular focus on helping postgraduate students at a Masters level to write their research proposals. PMID:26245436
VanWormer, Jeffrey J; Miller, Aaron W; Rezkalla, H
Aspirin is an important part of primary cardiovascular disease prevention, but little is known about aspirin use patterns in regional health care systems. This study used electronic health records from Marshfield Clinic to identify demographic, geographic, and clinical predictors of aspirin utilization in central Wisconsin adults without cardiovascular disease. A cross-sectional design was employed using 2010-2012 data from patients in the Marshfield Epidemiologic Study Area. Individuals who took aspirin-containing medication daily or every other day were considered regular aspirin users. There were a total of 6678 adults in the target region who were clinically indicated for aspirin therapy for primary cardiovascular disease prevention, per national guidelines. Aspirin was generally underutilized in this population, with 35% of all clinically indicated adults taking it regularly. Adjusted models found that individuals who were younger, female, not covered by health insurance, did not visit a medical provider regularly, smokers, were not obese, or did not have diabetes were least likely to take aspirin. In addition, there was some local variation in that aspirin use was less common in northeastern communities within the regional service area. Several aspirin use disparities were identified in central Wisconsin adults without cardiovascular disease, with particularly low utilization observed in those without diabetes and/or without regular physician contact. Methods of using electronic health records to conduct primary care surveillance as outlined here can be adopted by other large health care systems in the state to optimize future cardiovascular disease prevention initiatives.
Bell, Ruth; Ithindi, Taathi; Low, Anne
This paper draws lessons from a review of primary health care services in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, undertaken by a regional health management team. The review was carried out because of perceived increases in workload and inadequate staffing levels, arising from the rapid expansion of the city associated with inward migration. A survey of the utilization of government clinics was used to develop a more equitable allocation of primary health care services between localities. The survey revealed disparities between patterns of utilization of the services and the allocation of staff: the poorer localities were relatively underprovided. Decisions made centrally on resource allocation had reinforced the inequities. On the basis of the results of the review, the regional health management team redistributed nursing and medical staff and argued for a shift in the allocation of capital expenditure towards the poorer communities. The review demonstrates the potential for regional and provincial health management teams to make effective assessments of the needs of their populations and to promote the equitable delivery of primary health care services. In order to achieve this they need not only to become effective managers, but also to develop population-based planning skills and the confidence and authority to influence the allocation of resources between and within their regions and provinces. PMID:12219160
Smithson, Sarah; Pignone, Michael P
The burden of depression in the United States is substantial. Evidence supports the benefits of screening for depression in all adults, including older patients and pregnant and postpartum women, when coupled with appropriate resources for management of disease. Developing, implementing, and sustaining a high-fidelity screening process is an important first step for improving the care of patients with depression in primary care. Initial treatment for depression should include psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, or a combination of both. Collaborative care models are evidence-based approaches to depression treatment and follow-up that can be feasibly initiated in the primary care setting. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Asomaning, K; Abramsky, S; Liu, Q; Zhou, X; Sobel, R E; Watt, S
In Europe, pregabalin is approved for treatment of neuropathic pain, general anxiety disorder (GAD) and as adjunctive therapy for epilepsy. The purpose of this study was to assess utilisation of pregabalin in the UK, including patients with a recorded history of substance abuse, from a large general practice database. This observational drug utilisation study (DUS) analysed pregabalin prescription data from the UK Health Improvement Network primary care database between September 2004 and July 2009. Patient demographics, diagnoses (by READ codes) and pregabalin dosing data were collected. Diagnosis codes were used as proxy for approved indication for pregabalin. A cohort of 18,951 patients was prescribed pregabalin; dosing information was available for 13,480 (71.1%). Median age of patients was 58 years, and majority were female (60.1%). Median (interquartile range) prescribed average daily dose (ADD) of pregabalin for all patients was 150.0 (162.5) mg/day; this was highest in patients with epilepsy (191.9 mg/day), followed by neuropathic pain (158.0 mg/day) and GAD (150.0 mg/day). Only 1.0% (136/13,480) of patients were prescribed an ADD of pregabalin over the maximum approved dose of 600 mg/day. Of these, 18.4% (25/136) of patients had a history of substance abuse compared with 14.0% (1884/13,480) in the full population. Data from this DUS indicated that the majority of pregabalin prescribing in the UK was consistent with product labelling. The proportion of patients with prescribed ADD > 600 mg/day was small and with a similar proportion with a history of substance abuse as in the full population. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Crampton, Peter; Davis, Peter; Lay-Yee, Roy
Community-governed non-profit primary care organisations started developing in New Zealand in the late 1980s with the aim to reduce financial, cultural and geographical barriers to access. New Zealand's new primary health care strategy aims to co-ordinate primary care and public health strategies with the overall objective of improving population health and reducing health inequalities. The purpose of this study is to carry out a detailed examination of the composition and characteristics of primary care teams in community-governed non-profit practices and compare them with more traditional primary care organisations, with the aim of drawing conclusions about the capacity of the different structures to carry out population-based primary care. The study used data from a representative national cross-sectional survey of general practitioners in New Zealand (2001/2002). Primary care teams were largest and most heterogeneous in community-governed non-profit practices, which employed about 3% of the county's general practitioners. Next most heterogeneous in terms of their primary care teams were practices that belonged to an Independent Practitioner Association, which employed the majority of the country's general practitioners (71.7%). Even though in absolute and relative terms the community-governed non-profit primary care sector is small, by providing a much needed element of professional and organisational pluralism and by experimenting with more diverse staffing arrangements, it is likely to continue to have an influence on primary care policy development in New Zealand.
Lalonde, Lyne; Choinière, Manon; Martin, Elisabeth; Lévesque, Lise; Hudon, Eveline; Bélanger, Danielle; Perreault, Sylvie; Lacasse, Anaïs; Laliberté, Marie-Claude
Purpose There is evidence that the management of chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) in primary care is far from being optimal. A 1-day workshop was held to explore the perceptions of key actors regarding the challenges and priority interventions to improve CNCP management in primary care. Methods Using the Chronic Care Model as a conceptual framework, physicians (n=6), pharmacists (n=6), nurses (n=6), physiotherapists (n=6), psychologists (n=6), pain specialists (n=6), patients (n=3), family members (n=3), decision makers and managers (n=4), and pain researchers (n=7) took part in seven focus groups and five nominal groups. Results Challenges identified in focus group discussions were related to five dimensions: knowledge gap, “work in silos”, lack of awareness that CNCP represents an important clinical problem, difficulties in access to health professionals and services, and patient empowerment needs. Based on the nominal group discussions, the following priority interventions were identified: interdisciplinary continuing education, interdisciplinary treatment approach, regional expert leadership, creation and definition of care paths, and patient education programs. Conclusion Barriers to optimal management of CNCP in primary care are numerous. Improving its management cannot be envisioned without considering multifaceted interventions targeting several dimensions of the Chronic Care Model and focusing on both clinicians and patients. PMID:25995648
Avery, Anthony J; Sheikh, Aziz; Hurwitz, Brian; Smeaton, Lesley; Chen, Yen-Fu; Howard, Rachel; Cantrill, Judy; Royal, Simon
Errors in the medicines management process represent an important source of iatrogenic harm in primary care. Most errors result from underlying systems-based problems that are amenable to intervention and potentially preventable. In this paper, we seek to identify the frequency of medication-related morbidity in primary care, understand the underlying systemic reasons that increase risk of medication-related errors and iatrogenic harm, and suggest strategies for improving the safety of medicines management. PMID:12389765
Swoboda, W; Hermens, T
Internal medicine specialists involved in primary care will have a leading part in the treatment of geriatric patients with complex healthcare needs in the future. Approved models like specialized geriatric practices, ambulant or mobile geriatric rehabilitation and special geriatric services for nursing homes are available. Essential is a geriatric qualification that fits with the tasks of an internist in primary care. An incentive payment system has to be created for this purpose to improve the treatment of elderly patients.
Bradley, C. P.; Taylor, R. J.; Blenkinsopp, A.
The latest white papers on the NHS focus on stimulating innovation in the delivery of primary care and removing barriers to further development. Some of this innovation relates directly to prescribing in primary care, and in this article the authors speculate on what might happen if the prescribing initiatives referred to in the white papers were extended and disseminated more widely. The initiatives which might have the biggest impact are those encouraging closer collaboration between general practitioners and community pharmacists and those aiding extension of the current nurse prescribing scheme in primary care. Both offer considerable opportunities to improve primary care, but both bear some potential risks. PMID:9116557
MacCarthy, Dan; Kallstrom, Liza; Kadlec, Helena; Hollander, Marcus
An innovative program, the Practice Support Program (PSP), for full-service family physicians and their medical office assistants in primary care practices was recently introduced in British Columbia, Canada. The PSP was jointly approved by both government and physician groups, and is a dynamic, interactive, educational and supportive program that offers peer-to-peer training to physicians and their office staff. Topic areas range from clinical tools/skills to office management relevant to General Practitioner (GP) practices and "doable in real GP time". PSP learning modules consist of three half-day learning sessions interspersed with 6-8 week action periods. At the end of the third learning session, all participants were asked to complete a pen-and-paper survey that asked them to rate (a) their satisfaction with the learning module components, including the content and (b) the perceived impact the learning has had on their practices and patients. A total of 887 GPs (response rates ranging from 26.0% to 60.2% across three years) and 405 MOAs (response rates from 21.3% to 49.8%) provided responses on a pen-and-paper survey administered at the last learning session of the learning module. The survey asked respondents to rate (a) their satisfaction with the learning module components, including the content and (b) the perceived impact the learning has had on their practices and patients. The psychometric properties (Chronbach's alphas) of the satisfaction and impact scales ranged from .82 to .94. Evaluation findings from the first three years of the PSP indicated consistently high satisfaction ratings and perceived impact on GP practices and patients, regardless of physician characteristics (gender, age group) or work-related variables (e.g., time worked in family practice). The Advanced Access Learning Module, which offers tools to improve office efficiencies, decreased wait times for urgent, regular and third next available appointments by an average of 1.2, 3
Moral, Roger Ruiz; Torres, Luis Angel Pérula de; Ortega, Laura Pulido; Larumbe, Margarita Criado; Villalobos, Ana Roldán; García, Jose Angel Fernández; Rejano, Juan Manuel Parras
To evaluate the effectiveness of motivational interviewing (MI) in improving medication adherence in older patients being treated by polypharmacy. Cluster randomized clinical trial in 16 primary care centers with 27 health care providers and 154 patients. Thirty-two health care providers were assigned to an experimental (EG) or control group (CG). MI training program and review of patient treatments. Providers in the EG carried out MI, whereas those in the CG used an "advice approach". Three follow-up visits were completed, at 15 days and at 3 and 6 months. Medication adherence in both groups was compared (p<0.05). Patients recruited: 70/84 (EG/CG). Mean age: 76 years; female: 68.8%. The proportion of subjects changing to adherence was 7.6% higher in the EG (p<0.001). Therapeutic adherence was higher for patients in the EG (OR=2.84), women (OR=0.24) and those with high educational levels (OR=3.93). A face-to-face motivational approach in primary care helps elderly patients with chronic diseases who are being treated by polypharmacy to achieve an improved level of treatment adherence than traditional strategies of providing information and advice. MI is a patient-centered approach that can be used to improve medication adherence in primary care. This trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01291966). Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Snyder, Barbara K; Burack, Gail D; Petrova, Anna
Despite published guidelines on the need to provide comprehensive care to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer (LGBTQ) youth, there has been limited research related to the deliverance of primary health care to this population. The goals of this study were to learn about LGBTQ youth's experiences with their primary care physicians and to identify areas for improvement. Youth attending 1 of 5 community-based programs completed a written questionnaire and participated in a focus group discussion regarding experiences at primary care visits, including topics discussed, counselling received, and physician communication. Most of the youth did not feel their health care needs were well met. The majority acknowledged poor patient-provider communication, disrespect, and lack of discussions about important topics such as sexual and emotional health. Participants cited concerns about confidentiality and inappropriate comments as barriers to care. Youth expressed a strong desire to have physicians be more aware of their needs and concerns.
Vanderlip, Erik R; Williams, Nancy A; Fiedorowicz, Jess G; Katon, Wayne
People with serious mental illness often receive inadequate primary and preventive care services. Federal healthcare reform endorses team-based care that provides high quality primary and preventive care to at risk populations. Assertive community treatment (ACT) teams offer a proven, standardized treatment approach effective in improving mental health outcomes for the seriously mentally ill. Much is known about the effectiveness of ACT teams in improving mental health outcomes, but the degree to which medical care needs are addressed is not established. The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which ACT teams address the physical health of the population they serve. ACT team leaders were invited to complete an anonymous, web-based survey to explore attitudes and activities involving the primary care needs of their clients. Information was collected regarding the use of health screening tools, physical health assessments, provision of medical care and collaboration with primary care systems. Data was analyzed from 127 team leaders across the country, of which 55 completed the entire survey. Nearly every ACT team leader believed ACT teams have a role in identifying and managing the medical co-morbidities of their clientele. ACT teams report participation in many primary care activities. ACT teams are providing a substantial amount of primary and preventive services to their population. The survey suggests standardization of physical health identification, management or referral processes within ACT teams may result in improved quality of medical care. ACT teams are in a unique position to improve physical health care by virtue of having medically trained staff and frequent, close contact with their clients.
Vanderlip, Erik R.; Williams, Nancy A.; Fiedorowicz, Jess G.; Katon, Wayne
Background People with serious mental illness often receive inadequate primary and preventive care services. Federal healthcare reform endorses team-based care that provides high quality primary and preventive care to at risk populations. Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams offer a proven, standardized treatment approach effective in improving mental health outcomes for the seriously mentally ill. Much is known about the effectiveness of ACT teams in improving mental health outcomes, but the degree to which medical care needs are addressed is not established. Purpose The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which ACT teams address the physical health of the population they serve. Methods ACT team leaders were invited to complete an anonymous, web-based survey to explore attitudes and activities involving the primary care needs of their clients. Information was collected regarding the use of health screening tools, physical health assessments, provision of medical care and collaboration with primary care systems. Results Data was analyzed from 127 team leaders across the country, of which 55 completed the entire survey. Nearly every ACT team leader believed ACT teams have a role in identifying and managing the medical co-morbidities of their clientele. ACT teams report participation in many primary care activities. Conclusions ACT teams are providing a substantial amount of primary and preventive services to their population. The survey suggests standardization of physical health identification, management or referral processes within ACT teams may result in improved quality of medical care. ACT teams are in a unique position to improve physical health care by virtue of having medically trained staff and frequent, close contact with their clients. PMID:24337472
Aragonès, Enric; Caballero, Antonia; Piñol, Josep Ll; López-Cortacans, Germán; Badia, Waleska; Hernández, Josep M; Casaus, Pilar; Folch, Sílvia; Basora, Josep; Labad, Antonio
Background Most depressed patients are attended at primary care. However, there are significant shortcomings in the diagnosis, management and outcomes of these patients. The aim of this study is to determine whether the implementation of a structured programme for managing depression will provide better health outcomes than usual management. Methods/Design Design: A cluster-randomized controlled trial involving two groups, one of which is the control group consisting of patients who are treated for depression in the usual way and the other is the intervention group consisting of patients on a structured programme for treating depression. Setting: 20 primary care centres in the province of Tarragona (Spain) Sample: 400 patients over 18 years of age who have experienced an episode of major depression (DSM-IV) and who need to initiate antidepressant treatment Intervention: A multi-component programme with clinical, educational and organisational procedures that includes training for the health care provider and evidence-based clinical guidelines. It also includes primary care nurses working as care-managers who provide educational and emotional support for the patients and who are responsible for active and systematic clinical monitoring. The programme aims to improve the primary care/specialized level interface. Measurements: The patients will be monitored by telephone interviews. The interviewer will not know which group the patient belongs to (blind trial). These interviews will be given at 0, 3, 6 and 12 months. Main variables: Severity of the depressive symptoms, response rate and remission rate. Analysis: Outcomes will be analyzed on an intent-to-treat basis and the unit of analysis will be the individual patient. This analysis will take into account the effect of study design on potential lack of independence between observations within the same cluster. Discussion The effectiveness of caring for depression in primary care can be improved by various strategies
Acute and primary care trust relationships can be fraught with baggage, vagueness and stereotypes. Changing that is about overt behaviours as well as structural and strategic issues. Payment by results and attitudes to commissioning pose significant challenges.
Hart, J T
The extremely complex and rapidly but unevenly developing system of primary care in Spain is described. The health centre movement in Spain merits close attention, and could be a useful model for our own service. PMID:2117951
Kayingo, Gerald; Deon Kidd, Vasco; Gilani, Owais; Warner, Mary L
The goal of t his study was to describe the characteristics of primary care teams, activities, and ro les of physician assistant (PA) students as they encounter various primary care sites. An electronic survey was distributed to second year PA students in 12 programs who had completed at least 4 weeks in a primary care rotation. Of the 179 students who responded (response rate 41 %), 88% had completed their primary care rotations in urban settings, mostly in private practices (53%). Physician assistant students reported encountering many types of health care providers on their teams, and the 2 most favored features of the rotations were the interactions with their supervising clinicians and clinical responsibilities. About 68% interacted with other health profession students during their rotation(interprofessional experiential learning). Almost all students completed histories, physical examinations, and treatment plans, but less than 30% reported involvement in billing or care coordination and less than 10% participated in quality improvement projects. More than 60% were satisfied with team-based and interprofessional practices encountered during their primary care rotations, and 39% were more than likely to pursue primary care careers. Team-based prima ry ca re had a positive impact on students, but more exposure to underserved clinical settings, care coordination, quality improvement, and billing is needed to prepare PA students for the practice of the future. This study is t he first of its kind to explore the relationship between primary care sites and PA training in the era of health care reform.
Hepworth, Julie; Askew, Deborah; Jackson, Claire; Russell, Anthony
This study aimed to explore how a new model of integrated primary/secondary care for type 2 diabetes management, the Brisbane South Complex Diabetes Service (BSCDS), related to improved diabetes management in a selected group of patients. We used a qualitative research design to obtain detailed accounts from the BSCDS via semi-structured interviews with 10 patients. The interviews were fully transcribed and systematically coded using a form of thematic analysis. Participants' responses were grouped in relation to: (1) Patient-centred care; (2) Effective multiprofessional teamwork; and (3) Empowering patients. The key features of this integrated primary/secondary care model were accessibility and its delivery within a positive health care environment, clear and supportive interpersonal communication between patients and health care providers, and patients seeing themselves as being part of the team-based care. The BSCDS delivered patient-centred care and achieved patient engagement in ways that may have contributed to improved type 2 diabetes management in these participants.
'Selective primary health care' and other recent vertical health strategies have been justified on the grounds that the broad primary health care (PHC) approach cannot be afforded by developing countries in the present constrained economic circumstances. This judgement is too sweeping. A simulated case example is presented, starting with baseline health expenditure data that are representative of the situation in many developing countries. It is assumed that real economic growth occurs and that government funding of health care is allowed to grow in parallel. Two annual growth rates are considered: 2 and 5 per cent. Two restrictive conditions are applied: none of the main health services is subjected to absolute cuts; and, additional funds from existing or new sources of finance are not considered. It is shown that, even with slow growth rates, substantial increases in the funding of priority (rural and PHC) services can be achieved if the growth in expenditures of lower-priority services is curtailed. Also, savings from improved health service efficiency can be channelled to priority services. The message is that the PHC approach is viable even with slow economic growth. What is required is the technical capacity to identify and plan resource flows in the health sector, and the political will to effect resource allocations according to PHC priorities. A strategic policy like PHC should not be 'adjusted' out of effective existence because of reversible economic problems. Rather, actions should be taken to reverse the adverse economic environment. International health-related agencies should continue to support countries to develop national health systems based on PHC, and should campaign for reforms in the world economy to create at least the minimum economic conditions necessary for PHC implementation.
Roberts, Jane H
Australia and England show high rates of psychological distress and mental health problems in young people. Both are high-income countries and have stated their intention to improve the delivery of health care to young people in primary care settings. Australia has an international reputation for improving care through innovative services and educational initiatives. England has taken a different direction and has concentrated more on developing policy and making recommendations to improve access for young people. To describe a Churchill Fellowship visit to Australia to observe initiatives in primary care based youth-friendly mental health care and to reflect upon the observations, comparing and contrasting with the English model. The observations and reflections presented draw on field notes from site visits and meeting with key players, accessing web resources and referring to the literature, both grey and published. Australia offers plurality in health care delivery and innovative responses to addressing youth mental health. There are two key approaches. The first is the development of services specializing in youth mental health. The second approach is to build capacity of existing primary care services to recognize the particular bio-psychosocial needs of adolescents (and their families). In contrast, England has tended to focus primarily on policy development and improving youth access. The paper draws attention to a number of political, clinical and educational developments in both Australia and England. Both countries demonstrate different strategies in response to the high levels of psychological distress in young people. Learning from colleagues in other settings can inform our own practice. Ultimately responding to young people's mental health needs is best served by youth-friendly policy which prepares clinicians for effective practice, informed by applied research and supported by adequate resources. Investment in young people's health must be a
Djalali, Sima; Tandjung, Ryan; Rosemann, Thomas; Markun, Stefan
Background Facing the upcoming shortage of primary care physicians (PCPs), medical and governmental organizations have recently made major investments to foster vocational training programs in Switzerland, designed to provide context-specific training for trainees in primary care practices. Less is known about the impact of these programs on the skills and specific knowledge of trainees. We aimed to evaluate the Cantonal program for vocational primary care training in the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland’s largest Canton. Methods We undertook a pretest–posttest study and surveyed physicians before and after participating in the Cantonal program for vocational primary care training in the Swiss Canton of Zurich. All trainees who participated in the program from 2013 until the end of 2015 were eligible. Primary outcome was the proportion of trainees being confident about their professional, organizational, examination and management skills before and after completing vocational training. Secondary outcomes were the proportion of trainees stating knowledge gain in entrepreneurship and the proportion of trainees being motivated to pursue a career as PCP. Results Data of 47 trainees participating in the vocational training between 2013 and 2015 were eligible. In total, 35 (74.5%) participated in the T1 survey and 34 (72.3%) in the T2 survey. At T2, significantly more trainees (T1: 11%–89%, T2: 79%–100%) stated to be at least “slightly confident” about their skills (p<0.05 for each individual skill). Knowledge gain in entrepreneurship was highly expected and experienced by the trainees (55%–77% of respondents) in case of medicine-specific contents, but hardly expected in case of general business contents (≤47% of respondents). Concerning trainees’ motivation to pursue a career as PCP, we observed only a minimal, statistically insignificant change, suggesting that the vocational training did not alter trainees’ preconceived career plans as PCP. Conclusion
Family doctor - how to choose one; Primary care provider - how to choose one; Doctor - how to choose a family doctor ... A PCP is your main health care provider in non-emergency ... and teach healthy lifestyle choices Identify and treat common ...
Young, Heather M; Nesbitt, Thomas S
Primary care is the foundation of effective and high-quality health care. The role of primary care clinicians has expanded to encompass coordination of care across multiple providers and management of more patients with complex conditions. Enabling technology has the potential to expand the capacity for primary care clinicians to provide integrated, accessible care that channels expertise to the patient and brings specialty consultations into the primary care clinic. Furthermore, technology offers opportunities to engage patients in advancing their health through improved communication and enhanced self-management of chronic conditions. This paper describes enabling technologies in four domains (the body, the home, the community, and the primary care clinic) that can support the critical role primary care clinicians play in the health care system. It also identifies challenges to incorporating these technologies into primary care clinics, care processes, and workflow.
Process evaluation of the Data-driven Quality Improvement in Primary Care (DQIP) trial: case study evaluation of adoption and maintenance of a complex intervention to reduce high-risk primary care prescribing
Dreischulte, Tobias; Guthrie, Bruce
Objective To explore how different practices responded to the Data-driven Quality Improvement in Primary Care (DQIP) intervention in terms of their adoption of the work, reorganisation to deliver the intended change in care to patients, and whether implementation was sustained over time. Design Mixed-methods parallel process evaluation of a cluster trial, reporting the comparative case study of purposively selected practices. Setting Ten (30%) primary care practices participating in the trial from Scotland, UK. Results Four practices were sampled because they had large rapid reductions in targeted prescribing. They all had internal agreement that the topic mattered, made early plans to implement including assigning responsibility for work and regularly evaluated progress. However, how they internally organised the work varied. Six practices were sampled because they had initial implementation failure. Implementation failure occurred at different stages depending on practice context, including internal disagreement about whether the work was worthwhile, and intention but lack of capacity to implement or sustain implementation due to unfilled posts or sickness. Practice context was not fixed, and most practices with initial failed implementation adapted to deliver at least some elements. All interviewed participants valued the intervention because it was an innovative way to address on an important aspect of safety (although one of the non-interviewed general practitioners in one practice disagreed with this). Participants felt that reviewing existing prescribing did influence their future initiation of targeted drugs, but raised concerns about sustainability. Conclusions Variation in implementation and effectiveness was associated with differences in how practices valued, engaged with and sustained the work required. Initial implementation failure varied with practice context, but was not static, with most practices at least partially implementing by the end of the
Alpert, J J
Primary care is about the intimate contact that takes place when a patient comes to the physician because that individual is concerned that he or she, son or daughter, parent or grandparent is sick, or is well and wants to stay well. Our history has been that we have paid attention to important problems but we have missed so far on primary care as a megatrend. As noted, one of our most important societal megatrends is proverty and how poverty places children at risk. Poverty and primary care are linked. The reality that all of our citizens do not have access to primary care is not just our failure but it is society's as well. We pediatricians face many problems. In developing solutions, historically our profession has never lost sight of the fact that we are a helping and caring discipline. We are an advocate for the poor, advocates for children, advocates for community, and that is a large job. But the challenge is real, and we do not have much time. Now is not the time to be timid. We need to achieve consensus, accepting and acting on the megatrend of securing the future for primary care.