ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY Small Primary Care Practices Face Four Hurdles-Including A Physician-Centric Mind-Set-In Becoming Medical Homes
ABSTRACT Transforming small independent practices to patient-centered medical homes is widely believed to be a critical step in reforming the US health care system. Our team has conducted research on improving primary care practices for more than fifteen years. We have found four characteristics of small primary care practices that seriously inhibit their ability to make the transformation to this new care model. We found that small practices were extremely physician-centric, lacked meaningful communication among physicians, were dominated by authoritarian leadership behavior, and were underserved by midlevel clinicians who had been cast into unimaginative roles. Our analysis suggests that in addition to payment reform, a shift in the mind-set of primary care physicians is needed. Unless primary care physicians can adopt new mental models and think in new ways about themselves and their practices, it will be very difficult for them and their practices to create innovative care teams, become learning organizations, and act as good citizens within the health care neighborhood.
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ABSTRACT: Human factors systems approaches are critical for improving healthcare quality and patient safety. The SEIPS (Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety) model of work system and patient safety is a human factors systems approach that has been successfully applied in healthcare research and practice. Several research and practical applications of the SEIPS model are described. Important implications of the SEIPS model for healthcare system and process redesign are highlighted. Principles for redesigning healthcare systems using the SEIPS model are described. Balancing the work system and encouraging the active and adaptive role of workers are key principles for improving healthcare quality and patient safety.Applied ergonomics 07/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.apergo.2013.04.023 · 1.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Our experiences studying exemplar primary care practices, and our work assisting other practices to become more patient centered, led to a formulation of the essential elements of primary care, which we call the 10 building blocks of high-performing primary care. The building blocks include 4 foundational elements-engaged leadership, data-driven improvement, empanelment, and team-based care-that assist the implementation of the other 6 building blocks-patient-team partnership, population management, continuity of care, prompt access to care, comprehensiveness and care coordination, and a template of the future. The building blocks, which represent a synthesis of the innovative thinking that is transforming primary care in the United States, are both a description of existing high-performing practices and a model for improvement.The Annals of Family Medicine 03/2014; 12(2):166-71. DOI:10.1370/afm.1616 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: PURPOSE Research on the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model and practice redesign has not focused on the unique challenges and strengths of very small primary care practices serving disadvantaged patient populations. We analyzed the practice characteristics, prior experiences, and dimensions of the PCMH model that exist in such practices participating in the Primary Care Information Project (PCIP) of the New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene. METHODS We obtained descriptive data, focusing on PCMH, for 94 primary care practices with 5 or fewer clinicians serving high volumes of Medicaid and minority patient populations in New York City. Data included information extracted from PCIP administrative data and survey data collected specifically for this study. RESULTS Survey results indicated substantial implementation of key aspects of the PCMH among small practices serving disadvantaged patient populations, despite considerable potential challenges to achieving PCMH implementation. Practices tended to use few formal mechanisms, such as formal care teams and designated care or case managers, but there was considerable evidence of use of informal team-based care and care coordination nonetheless. It appears that many of these practices achieved the spirit, if not the letter, of the law in terms of key dimensions of PCMH. CONCLUSIONS Small practices can achieve important aspects of the PCMH model of primary care, often with informal rather than formal mechanisms and strategies. The use of flexible, less formal strategies is important to keep in mind when considering implementation and assessment of PCMH-like initiatives in small practices.The Annals of Family Medicine 05/2013; 11 Suppl 1:S82-9. DOI:10.1370/afm.1491 · 4.57 Impact Factor