Navigating change: how outreach facilitators can help clinicians improve patient outcomes

Dianne Laferriere, Clare Liddy, Kate Nash, William Hogg
Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine: JABFM 2012, 25 (2): 232-7

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to describe outreach facilitation as an effective method of assisting and supporting primary care practices to improve processes and delivery of care.

METHODS: We spent 4 years working with 83 practices in Eastern Ontario, Canada, on the Improved Delivery of Cardiovascular Care through the Outreach Facilitation program.

RESULTS: Primary care practices, even if highly motivated, face multiple challenges when providing quality patient care. Outreach facilitation can be an effective method of assisting and supporting practices to make the changes necessary to improve processes and delivery of care. Multiple jurisdictions use outreach facilitation for system redesign, improved efficiencies, and advanced access.

CONCLUSIONS: The development and implementation of quality improvement programs using practice facilitation can be challenging. Our research team has learned valuable lessons in developing tools, finding resources, and assisting practices to reach their quality improvement goals. These lessons can lead to improved experiences for the practices and overall improved outcomes for the patients they serve.

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