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1.  Nurse Mentors to Advance Quality Improvement in Primary Health Centers: Lessons From a Pilot Program in Northern Karnataka, India 
Trained nurse mentors catalyzed quality improvements in facility-based maternal and newborn care by: (1) encouraging use of self-assessment checklists and team-based problem solving, (2) introducing case sheets to ensure adherence to clinical guidelines, and (3) strengthening clinical skills through on-site demonstrations and bedside teaching. Inadequate leadership and staffing were challenges in some facilities. Some social norms, such as client resistance to referral and to staying 48 hours after delivery, also impact quality and mandate community mobilization efforts.
Trained nurse mentors catalyzed quality improvements in facility-based maternal and newborn care by: (1) encouraging use of self-assessment checklists and team-based problem solving, (2) introducing case sheets to ensure adherence to clinical guidelines, and (3) strengthening clinical skills through on-site demonstrations and bedside teaching. Inadequate leadership and staffing were challenges in some facilities. Some social norms, such as client resistance to referral and to staying 48 hours after delivery, also impact quality and mandate community mobilization efforts.
High-quality care during labor, delivery, and the postpartum period is critically important since maternal and child morbidity and mortality are linked to complications that arise during these stages. A nurse mentoring program was implemented in northern Karnataka, India, to improve quality of services at primary health centers (PHCs), the lowest level in the public health system that offers basic obstetric care. The intervention, conducted between August 2012 and July 2014, employed 53 full-time nurse mentors and was scaled-up in 385 PHCs in 8 poor rural districts. Each mentor was responsible for 6 to 8 PHCs and conducted roughly 6 mentoring visits per PHC in the first year. This paper reports the results of a qualitative inquiry, conducted between September 2012 and April 2014, assessing the program's successes and challenges from the perspective of mentors and PHC teams. Data were gathered through 13 observations, 9 focus group discussions with mentors, and 25 individual and group interviews with PHC nurses, medical officers, and district health officers. Mentors and PHC staff and leaders reported a number of successes, including development of rapport and trust between mentors and PHC staff, introduction of team-based quality improvement processes, correct and consistent use of a new case sheet to ensure adherence to clinical guidelines, and increases in staff nurses’ knowledge and skills. Overall, nurses in many PHCs reported an increased ability to provide care according to guidelines and to handle maternal and newborn complications, along with improvements in equipment and supplies and referral management. Challenges included high service delivery volumes and/or understaffing at some PHCs, unsupportive or absent PHC leadership, and cultural practices that impacted quality. Comprehensive mentoring can build competence and improve performance by combining on-the-job clinical and technical support, applying quality improvement principles, and promoting team-based problem solving.
doi:10.9745/GHSP-D-15-00142
PMCID: PMC4682589  PMID: 26681711
2.  Developing a national dissemination plan for collaborative care for depression: QUERI Series 
Background
Little is known about effective strategies for disseminating and implementing complex clinical innovations across large healthcare systems. This paper describes processes undertaken and tools developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Mental Health Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (MH-QUERI) to guide its efforts to partner with clinical leaders to prepare for national dissemination and implementation of collaborative care for depression.
Methods
An evidence-based quality improvement (EBQI) process was used to develop an initial set of goals to prepare the VA for national dissemination and implementation of collaborative care. The resulting product of the EBQI process is referred to herein as a "National Dissemination Plan" (NDP). EBQI participants included: a) researchers with expertise on the collaborative care model for depression, clinical quality improvement, and implementation science, and b) VA clinical and administrative leaders with experience and expertise on how to adapt research evidence to organizational needs, resources and capacity. Based on EBQI participant feedback, drafts of the NDP were revised and refined over multiple iterations before a final version was approved by MH-QUERI leadership. 'Action Teams' were created to address each goal. A formative evaluation framework and related tools were developed to document processes, monitor progress, and identify and act upon barriers and facilitators in addressing NDP goals.
Results
The National Dissemination Plan suggests that effectively disseminating collaborative care for depression in the VA will likely require attention to: Guidelines and Quality Indicators (4 goals), Training in Clinical Processes and Evidence-based Quality Improvement (6 goals), Marketing (7 goals), and Informatics Support (1 goal). Action Teams are using the NDP as a blueprint for developing infrastructure to support system-wide adoption and sustained implementation of collaborative care for depression. To date, accomplishments include but are not limited to: conduct of a systematic review of the literature to update VA depression treatment guidelines to include the latest evidence on collaborative care for depression; training for clinical staff on TIDES (Translating Initiatives for Depression into Effective Solutions project) care; spread of TIDES care to new VA facilities; and integration of TIDES depression assessment tools into a planned update of software used in delivery of VA mental health services. Thus far, common barriers encountered by Action Teams in addressing NDP goals include: a) limited time to address goals due to competing tasks/priorities, b) frequent turnover of key organizational leaders/stakeholders, c) limited skills and training among team members for addressing NDP goals, and d) difficulty coordinating activities across Action Teams on related goals.
Conclusion
MH-QUERI has partnered with VA organizational leaders to develop a focused yet flexible plan to address key factors to prepare for national dissemination and implementation of collaborative care for depression. Early indications suggest that the plan is laying an important foundation that will enhance the likelihood of successful implementation and spread across the VA healthcare system.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-3-59
PMCID: PMC2631596  PMID: 19117524
3.  Community-Based Care for Chronic Wound Management 
Executive Summary
In August 2008, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) presented a vignette to the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) on a proposed targeted health care delivery model for chronic care. The proposed model was defined as multidisciplinary, ambulatory, community-based care that bridged the gap between primary and tertiary care, and was intended for individuals with a chronic disease who were at risk of a hospital admission or emergency department visit. The goals of this care model were thought to include: the prevention of emergency department visits, a reduction in hospital admissions and re-admissions, facilitation of earlier hospital discharge, a reduction or delay in long-term care admissions, and an improvement in mortality and other disease-specific patient outcomes.
OHTAC approved the development of an evidence-based assessment to determine the effectiveness of specialized community based care for the management of heart failure, Type 2 diabetes and chronic wounds.
Please visit the Medical Advisory Secretariat Web site at: www.health.gov.on.ca/ohtas to review the following reports associated with the Specialized Multidisciplinary Community-Based care series.
Specialized multidisciplinary community-based care series: a summary of evidence-based analyses
Community-based care for the specialized management of heart failure: an evidence-based analysis
Community-based care for chronic wound management: an evidence-based analysis
Please note that the evidence-based analysis of specialized community-based care for the management of diabetes titled: “Community-based care for the management of type 2 diabetes: an evidence-based analysis” has been published as part of the Diabetes Strategy Evidence Platform at this URL: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/tech/ohtas/tech_diabetes_20091020.html
Please visit the Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative Web site at: http://theta.utoronto.ca/papers/MAS_CHF_Clinics_Report.pdf to review the following economic project associated with this series:
Community-based Care for the specialized management of heart failure: a cost-effectiveness and budget impact analysis.
Objective
The objective of this evidence-based review is to determine the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary wound care team for the management of chronic wounds.
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Chronic wounds develop from various aetiologies including pressure, diabetes, venous pathology, and surgery. A pressure ulcer is defined as a localized injury to the skin/and or underlying tissue occurring most often over a bony prominence and caused, alone or in combination, by pressure, shear, or friction. Up to three fifths of venous leg ulcers are due to venous aetiology.
Approximately 1.5 million Ontarians will sustain a pressure ulcer, 111,000 will develop a diabetic foot ulcer, and between 80,000 and 130,000 will develop a venous leg ulcer. Up to 65% of those afflicted by chronic leg ulcers report experiencing decreased quality of life, restricted mobility, anxiety, depression, and/or severe or continuous pain.
Multidisciplinary Wound Care Teams
The term ‘multidisciplinary’ refers to multiple disciplines on a team and ‘interdisciplinary’ to such a team functioning in a coordinated and collaborative manner. There is general consensus that a group of multidisciplinary professionals is necessary for optimum specialist management of chronic wounds stemming from all aetiologies. However, there is little evidence to guide the decision of which professionals might be needed form an optimal wound care team.
Evidence-Based Analysis Methods
Literature Search
A literature search was performed on July 7, 2009 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, OVID EMBASE, Wiley Cochrane, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination/International Agency for Health Technology Assessment, and on July 13, 2009 using the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies pertaining to leg and foot ulcers. A similar literature search was conducted on July 29’ 2009 for studies pertaining to pressure ulcers. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. Articles with an unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist and then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established.
Inclusion Criteria
Randomized controlled trials and Controlled clinical Trials (CCT)
Systematic review with meta analysis
Population includes persons with pressure ulcers (anywhere) and/or leg and foot ulcers
The intervention includes a multidisciplinary (two or more disciplines) wound care team.
The control group does not receive care by a wound care team
Studies published in the English language between 2004 and 2009
Exclusion Criteria
Single centre retrospective observational studies
Outcomes of Interest
Proportion of persons and/or wounds completely healed
Time to complete healing
Quality of Life
Pain assessment
Summary of Findings
Two studies met the inclusion and exclusion criteria, one a randomized controlled trial (RCT), the other a CCT using a before and after study design. There was variation in the setting, composition of the wound care team, outcome measures, and follow up periods between the studies. In both studies, however, the wound care team members received training in wound care management and followed a wound care management protocol.
In the RCT, Vu et al. reported a non-significant difference between the proportion of wounds healed in 6 months using a univariate analysis (61.7% for treatment vs. 52.5% for control; p=0.074, RR=1.19) There was also a non-significant difference in the mean time to healing in days (82 for treatment vs. 101 for control; p=0.095). More persons in the intervention group had a Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) score equal to zero (better pain control) at 6 months when compared with the control group (38.6% for intervention vs. 24.4% for control; p=0.017, RR=1.58). By multivariate analysis a statistically significant hazard ratio was reported in the intervention group (1.73, 95% CI 1.20-1.50; p=0.003).
In the CCT, Harrison et al. reported a statistically significant difference in healing rates between the pre (control) and post (intervention) phases of the study. Of patients in the pre phase, 23% had healed ulcers 3 months after study enrolment, whereas 56% were healed in the post phase (P<0.001, OR=4.17) (Figure 3). Furthermore, 27% of patients were treated daily or more often in the pre phase whereas only 6% were treated at this frequency in the post phase (P<0.001), equal to a 34% relative risk reduction in frequency of daily treatments. The authors did not report the results of pain relief assessment.
The body of evidence was assessed using the GRADE methodology for 4 outcomes: proportion of wounds healed, proportion of persons with healed wounds, wound associated pain relief, and proportion of persons needing daily wound treatments. In general, the evidence was found to be low to very low quality.
Conclusion
The evidence supports that managing chronic wounds with a multidisciplinary wound care team significantly increases wound healing and reduces the severity of wound-associated pain and the required daily wound treatments compared to persons not managed by a wound care team. The quality of evidence supporting these outcomes is low to very low meaning that further research is very likely to have an important impact on our confidence in the estimate of effect and is likely to change the estimate.
PMCID: PMC3377537  PMID: 23074522
4.  A new model of care collaboration for community-dwelling elders: findings and lessons learned from the NORC-health care linkage evaluation 
Purpose
Providing care for older individuals with chronic illnesses in the community requires a model of service delivery that takes into account both physical health and social health needs. However, packaging care in this way does not fit into existing service or reimbursement structures in the US, and there are few financial incentives that encourage service coordination. Lack of coordinated care can negatively affect access to high quality, appropriate care, putting seniors' physical and mental health and quality of life at risk, as well as their ability to stay in the community. Supportive Social Programs (SSPs), operating in Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs), attempt to increase access to care and enhance care quality for aging residents through outreach and service facilitation. Since their inception in 1986, NORC-SSPs have partnered with local health care providers to address both individual and community-wide health issues; however, each sector continues to operate along functional lines, and on a reactive basis. This article presents findings from an evaluation conducted from 2002 to 2006 looking at the feasibility, quality and outcomes of linking health and social services through innovative NORC-SSP and health organization partnerships.
Methods
Four NORC-SSPs participated in the study by finding a health care provider to collaborate on addressing health conditions that could benefit from a biopsychosocial approach. Each site focused on a specific population, a specific condition or problem, and created different linkages to address the target problem. Using a case study approach, incorporating both qualitative and quantitative methods, this evaluation sought to answer the following two primary questions: 1) have the participating sites created viable linkages between the participating organizations that did not exist prior to the study; and, 2) to what extent have the linkages resulted in improvements in clinical and other health and social outcomes?
Results
Findings suggest that immediate outcomes were widely achieved across sites: knowledge of other sector providers' capabilities and services increased; communication across providers increased; identification of target population increased; and, awareness of risks, symptoms and healthy behaviors among clients/patients increased. Furthermore, intermediate outcomes were also widely achieved: shared care planning increased across providers; continuity of care was enhanced; disease management improved; and self care among clients improved. Finally, several linkage partnerships were also able to demonstrate improvements in distal outcomes: falls risk decreased; clinical indicators for diabetes management improved; and inappropriate hospitalizations decreased.
Discussion
Using simple, familiar and relatively low-tech approaches to sharing critical patient information among collaborating organizations, inter-sector linkages were successfully established at all four sites. Seven critical success factors emerged that increase the likelihood that linkages will be implemented, effective and sustained: 1) careful goal selection; 2) meaningful collaboration; 3) appropriate role for clients; 4) realistic interventions; 5) realistic expectations for implementation environment; 6) continuous focus on outcomes; and, 7) stable leadership. A considerable amount of literature speaks to the importance of organizational partnerships to improve community health; however, findings from this evaluation suggest that less complex, more focused, micro-level collaborations can also make a difference, extending the feasibility that organizations will enter into such endeavors.
PMCID: PMC2807089
older people; integrated care models; linkage
5.  Interprofessional collaboration: three best practice models of interprofessional education 
Medical Education Online  2011;16:10.3402/meo.v16i0.6035.
Interprofessional education is a collaborative approach to develop healthcare students as future interprofessional team members and a recommendation suggested by the Institute of Medicine. Complex medical issues can be best addressed by interprofessional teams. Training future healthcare providers to work in such teams will help facilitate this model resulting in improved healthcare outcomes for patients. In this paper, three universities, the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, the University of Florida and the University of Washington describe their training curricula models of collaborative and interprofessional education.
The models represent a didactic program, a community-based experience and an interprofessional-simulation experience. The didactic program emphasizes interprofessional team building skills, knowledge of professions, patient centered care, service learning, the impact of culture on healthcare delivery and an interprofessional clinical component. The community-based experience demonstrates how interprofessional collaborations provide service to patients and how the environment and availability of resources impact one's health status. The interprofessional-simulation experience describes clinical team skills training in both formative and summative simulations used to develop skills in communication and leadership.
One common theme leading to a successful experience among these three interprofessional models included helping students to understand their own professional identity while gaining an understanding of other professional's roles on the health care team. Commitment from departments and colleges, diverse calendar agreements, curricular mapping, mentor and faculty training, a sense of community, adequate physical space, technology, and community relationships were all identified as critical resources for a successful program. Summary recommendations for best practices included the need for administrative support, interprofessional programmatic infrastructure, committed faculty, and the recognition of student participation as key components to success for anyone developing an IPE centered program.
doi:10.3402/meo.v16i0.6035
PMCID: PMC3081249  PMID: 21519399
interprofessional; healthcare teams; collaboration; interprofessional education; interprofessional curricula models
6.  Joy and Challenges in Improving Chronic Illness Care: Capturing Daily Experiences of Academic Primary Care Teams 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2010;25(Suppl 4):581-585.
BACKGROUND
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.
OBJECTIVE
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.
DESIGN
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.
PARTICIPANTS
Forty-one residency programs from 37 teaching hospitals participated in the collaboratives and comprised faculty and resident physicians, nurses, and administrative staff.
APPROACH
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).
KEY RESULTS
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”.
CONCLUSIONS
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.
doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1408-8
PMCID: PMC2940446  PMID: 20737233
chronic illness; team; joy in work; graduate medical education; ambulatory training; interprofessional training
7.  Building and Strengthening Infrastructure for Data Exchange: Lessons from the Beacon Communities 
EGEMS  2014;2(3):1092.
Introduction:
The Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program supports interventions, including care-delivery innovations, provider performance measurement and feedback initiatives, and tools for providers and consumers to enhance care. Using a learning health system framework, we examine the Beacon Communities’ processes in building and strengthening health IT (HIT) infrastructures, specifically successes and challenges in sharing patient information to improve clinical care.
Background:
In 2010, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) launched the three-year program, which provided $250 million to 17 Beacon Communities to invest in HIT and health information exchange (HIE) infrastructure. Beacon Communities used this funding to develop and disseminate HIT-enabled quality improvement practices found effective in particular community and practice environments.
Methods:
NORC conducted 7 site visits, November 2012–March 2013, selecting Communities to represent diverse program features. From August–October 2013, NORC held discussions with the remaining 10 Communities. Following each visit or discussion, NORC summarized the information gathered, including transcripts, team observations, and other documents the Community provided, to facilitate a within-Community analysis of context and stakeholders, intervention strategies, enabling factors, and challenges.
Results:
Although each Community designed and implemented data-sharing strategies in a unique environment, similar challenges and enabling factors emerged across the Beacons. From a learning health system perspective, their strategies to build and strengthen data-sharing infrastructures address the following crosscutting priorities: promoting technical advances and innovations by helping providers adapt EHRs for data exchange and performance measurement with customizable IT and offering technical support to smaller, independent providers; engaging key stakeholders; and fostering transparent governance and stewardship of the infrastructure with neutral conveners.
Conclusion:
While all the Communities developed or strengthened data-exchange infrastructure, each did this in a unique environment of existing health care market and legal factors. The Communities, however, encountered similar challenges and enabling factors. Organizations undertaking collaborative data sharing, performance measurement and clinical transformation can learn from the Beacon Communities’ experience.
doi:10.13063/2327-9214.1092
PMCID: PMC4371437  PMID: 25848619
Beacon Communities; data sharing; health information exchange
8.  Within-team Patterns of Communication and Referral in Multimodal Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain Patients by an Integrative Care Team 
Background:
Nonspecific chronic low back pain (CLBP) is a highly prevalent and costly public health problem with few treatment options that provide consistent and greater than modest benefits. Treatment of CLBP is shifting from unimodal to multimodal and multidisciplinary approaches, including biopsychosocially-based complementary and integrative care. Multidisciplinary approaches require unique levels of communication and coordination amongst clinicians; however, to date few studies have evaluated patterns of communication and decision making amongst clinicians collaborating in the care of challenging patients with CLBP.
Methods:
As part of an observational study evaluating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an integrative, team-based care model for the treatment of CLBP, we used multiple qualitative research methods to characterize within-team cross-referral and communication amongst jointly-trained practitioners representing diverse biomedical and complementary disciplines. Patterns of communication and coordinated care are summarized for 3 cases of CLBP treated by multiple members (≥3) of an integrative medical team embedded within an academic hospital.
Results:
Patients were aged from 36 to 88 years with varied comorbidities. Qualitative content analysis revealed 5 emergent themes regarding integrative patient care and treatment decision in this clinic: (1) the fundamental importance of the clinic's formal teamwork training; (2) the critical communicative and collaborative function of regular team meetings; (3) the importance to patient care goals of having the varied disciplines practicing “under one roof”; (4) a universal commitment to understanding and treating patients as whole persons; and (5) a shared philosophy of helping patients to help themselves. These key themes are all interconnected and form the foundation of the clinic's culture.
Conclusions:
Our qualitative findings provide context for current trends in enhancing patient-centered, coordinated, and team-based care; efforts towards better understanding interprofessional communication; overcoming barriers to successful collaboration; and identifying best practices for fostering clinical teamwork and a strong team identity. Our findings also support the need for further qualitative research, in combination with quantitative research, for evaluating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of resource-intensive integrative models for the treatment of chronic conditions.
doi:10.7453/gahmj.2014.076
PMCID: PMC4424918  PMID: 25984405
Clinician communication; collaborative care; coordinated care; back pain; qualitative research
9.  Innovation in patient-centered care: lessons from a qualitative study of innovative health care organizations in Washington State 
BMC Family Practice  2012;13:120.
Background
Growing interest in the promise of patient-centered care has led to numerous health care innovations, including the patient-centered medical home, shared decision-making, and payment reforms. How best to vet and adopt innovations is an open question. Washington State has been a leader in health care reform and is a rich laboratory for patient-centered innovations. We sought to understand the process of patient-centered care innovation undertaken by innovative health care organizations – from strategic planning to goal selection to implementation to maintenance.
Methods
We conducted key-informant interviews with executives at five health plans, five provider organizations, and ten primary care clinics in Washington State. At least two readers of each interview transcript identified themes inductively; final themes were determined by consensus.
Results
Innovation in patient-centered care was a strategic objective chosen by nearly every organization in this study. However, other goals were paramount: cost containment, quality improvement, and organization survival. Organizations commonly perceived effective chronic disease management and integrated health information technology as key elements for successful patient-centered care innovation. Inertia, resource deficits, fee-for-service payment, and regulatory limits on scope of practice were cited as barriers to innovation, while organization leadership, human capital, and adaptive culture facilitated innovation.
Conclusions
Patient-centered care innovations reflected organizational perspectives: health plans emphasized cost-effectiveness while providers emphasized health care delivery processes. Health plans and providers shared many objectives, yet the two rarely collaborated to achieve them. The process of innovation is heavily dependent on organizational culture and leadership. Policymakers can improve the pace and quality of patient-centered innovation by setting targets and addressing conditions for innovation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-13-120
PMCID: PMC3538717  PMID: 23241305
Patient-centered care; Primary care; Health care reform
10.  Open Access in the Patient-Centered Medical Home: Lessons from the Veterans Health Administration 
Background
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has undertaken a 5-year initiative to transform to a patient-centered medical home model. An early focus of implementation was on creating open access, defined as continuity and capacity in primary care.
Objective
We describe the impact of readiness for implementation on efforts of pilot teams to make changes to improve access and identify successful strategies used by early adopters to overcome barriers to change.
Design
A qualitative, formative evaluation of the first 18 months of implementation in one Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) spread across six states.
Participants
Members of local implementation teams including administrators, primary care providers, and staff from primary care clinics located at 10 medical centers and 45 outpatient clinics.
Approach
We conducted site visits during the first 6 months of implementation, observations at Learning Collaboratives, semi-structured interviews, and review of internal organizational documents. All data collection took place between April 2010 and December 2011.
Key Results
Early adopters employed various strategies to enhance access, with a focus on decreasing demand for face-to-face care, increasing supply of different types of primary care encounters, and improving clinic efficiencies. Our interviews with key contacts revealed three important areas where readiness for implementation (or lack thereof) had an impact on interventions to improve access: leadership engagement, staffing resources, and access to information and knowledge.
Conclusions
Key factors related to readiness for implementation had an impact on which interventions pilot teams could put into place, as well as the viability and sustainability of access gains. Wide variations in interventions to improve access occurring across sites situated within one organization have important implications for efforts to measure the impact of enhanced access on patient outcomes, costs, and other systems-level indicators of the Medical Home.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-012-2279-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s11606-012-2279-y
PMCID: PMC3599018  PMID: 23192447
patient-centered access; primary care; continuity of care; veterans health; qualitative evaluation
11.  Teamwork and Delegation in Medical Homes: Primary Care Staff Perspectives in the Veterans Health Administration 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2014;29(Suppl 2):632-639.
ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND
The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) relies on a team approach to patient care. For organizations engaged in transitioning to a PCMH model, identifying and providing the resources needed to promote team functioning is essential.
OBJECTIVE
To describe team-level resources required to support PCMH team functioning within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and provide insight into how the presence or absence of these resources facilitates or impedes within-team delegation.
DESIGN
Semi-structured interviews with members of pilot teams engaged in PCMH implementation in 77 primary care clinics serving over 300,000 patients across two VHA regions covering the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest United States.
PARTICIPANTS
A purposive sample of 101 core members of pilot teams, including 32 primary care providers, 42 registered nurse care managers, 15 clinical associates, and 12 clerical associates.
APPROACH
Investigators from two evaluation sites interviewed frontline primary care staff separately, and then collaborated on joint analysis of parallel data to develop a broad, comprehensive understanding of global themes impacting team functioning and within-team delegation.
KEY RESULTS
We describe four themes key to understanding how resources at the team level supported ability of primary care staff to work as effective, engaged teams. Team-based task delegation was facilitated by demarcated boundaries and collective identity; shared goals and sense of purpose; mature and open communication characterized by psychological safety; and ongoing, intentional role negotiation.
CONCLUSIONS
Our findings provide a framework for organizations to identify assets already in place to support team functioning, as well as areas in need of improvement. For teams struggling to make practice changes, our results indicate key areas where they may benefit from future support. In addition, this research sheds light on how variation in medical home implementation and outcomes may be associated with variation in team-based task delegation.
doi:10.1007/s11606-013-2666-z
PMCID: PMC4070236  PMID: 24737223
patient-centered medical home; teams; implementation; Veteran’s health; qualitative evaluation; primary care; Department of Veterans Affairs
12.  Community-Based Care for the Specialized Management of Heart Failure 
Executive Summary
In August 2008, the Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS) presented a vignette to the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) on a proposed targeted health care delivery model for chronic care. The proposed model was defined as multidisciplinary, ambulatory, community-based care that bridged the gap between primary and tertiary care, and was intended for individuals with a chronic disease who were at risk of a hospital admission or emergency department visit. The goals of this care model were thought to include: the prevention of emergency department visits, a reduction in hospital admissions and re-admissions, facilitation of earlier hospital discharge, a reduction or delay in long-term care admissions, and an improvement in mortality and other disease-specific patient outcomes.
OHTAC approved the development of an evidence-based assessment to determine the effectiveness of specialized community based care for the management of heart failure, Type 2 diabetes and chronic wounds.
Please visit the Medical Advisory Secretariat Web site at: www.health.gov.on.ca/ohtas to review the following reports associated with the Specialized Multidisciplinary Community-Based care series.
Specialized multidisciplinary community-based care series: a summary of evidence-based analyses
Community-based care for the specialized management of heart failure: an evidence-based analysis
Community-based care for chronic wound management: an evidence-based analysis
Please note that the evidence-based analysis of specialized community-based care for the management of diabetes titled: “Community-based care for the management of type 2 diabetes: an evidence-based analysis” has been published as part of the Diabetes Strategy Evidence Platform at this URL: http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/tech/ohtas/tech_diabetes_20091020.html
Please visit the Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative Web site at: http://theta.utoronto.ca/papers/MAS_CHF_Clinics_Report.pdf to review the following economic project associated with this series:
Community-based Care for the specialized management of heart failure: a cost-effectiveness and budget impact analysis.
Objective
The objective of this evidence-based analysis was to determine the effectiveness of specialized multidisciplinary care in the management of heart failure (HF).
Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition
HF is a progressive, chronic condition in which the heart becomes unable to sufficiently pump blood throughout the body. There are several risk factors for developing the condition including hypertension, diabetes, obesity, previous myocardial infarction, and valvular heart disease.(1) Based on data from a 2005 study of the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), the prevalence of congestive heart failure in Canada is approximately 1% of the population over the age of 12.(2) This figure rises sharply after the age of 45, with prevalence reports ranging from 2.2% to 12%.(3) Extrapolating this to the Ontario population, an estimated 98,000 residents in Ontario are believed to have HF.
Disease management programs are multidisciplinary approaches to care for chronic disease that coordinate comprehensive care strategies along the disease continuum and across healthcare delivery systems.(4) Evidence for the effectiveness of disease management programs for HF has been provided by seven systematic reviews completed between 2004 and 2007 (Table 1) with consistency of effect demonstrated across four main outcomes measures: all cause mortality and hospitalization, and heart-failure specific mortality and hospitalization. (4-10)
However, while disease management programs are multidisciplinary by definition, the published evidence lacks consistency and clarity as to the exact nature of each program and usual care comparators are generally ill defined. Consequently, the effectiveness of multidisciplinary care for the management of persons with HF is still uncertain. Therefore, MAS has completed a systematic review of specialized, multidisciplinary, community-based care disease management programs compared to a well-defined usual care group for persons with HF.
Evidence-Based Analysis Methods
Research Questions
What is the effectiveness of specialized, multidisciplinary, community-based care (SMCCC) compared with usual care for persons with HF?
Literature Search Strategy
A comprehensive literature search was completed of electronic databases including MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, Cochrane Library and Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature. Bibliographic references of selected studies were also searched. After a review of the title and abstracts, relevant studies were obtained and the full reports evaluated. All studies meeting explicit inclusion and exclusion criteria were retained. Where appropriate, a meta-analysis was undertaken to determine the pooled estimate of effect of specialized multidisciplinary community-based care for explicit outcomes. The quality of the body of evidence, defined as one or more relevant studies was determined using GRADE Working Group criteria. (11)
Inclusion Criteria
Randomized controlled trial
Systematic review with meta analysis
Population includes persons with New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification 1-IV HF
The intervention includes a team consisting of a nurse and physician one of which is a specialist in HF management.
The control group receives care by a single practitioner (e.g. primary care physician (PCP) or cardiologist)
The intervention begins after discharge from the hospital
The study reports 1-year outcomes
Exclusion Criteria
The intervention is delivered predominately through home-visits
Studies with mixed populations where discrete data for HF is not reported
Outcomes of Interest
All cause mortality
All cause hospitalization
HF specific mortality
HF specific hospitalization
All cause duration of hospital stay
HF specific duration of hospital stay
Emergency room visits
Quality of Life
Summary of Findings
One large and seven small randomized controlled trials were obtained from the literature search.
A meta-analysis was completed for four of the seven outcomes including:
All cause mortality
HF-specific mortality
All cause hospitalization
HF-specific hospitalization.
Where the pooled analysis was associated with significant heterogeneity, subgroup analyses were completed using two primary categories:
direct and indirect model of care; and
type of control group (PCP or cardiologist).
The direct model of care was a clinic-based multidisciplinary HF program and the indirect model of care was a physician supervised, nurse-led telephonic HF program.
All studies, except one, were completed in jurisdictions outside North America. (12-19) Similarly, all but one study had a sample size of less than 250. The mean age in the studies ranged from 65 to 77 years. Six of the studies(12;14-18) included populations with a NYHA classification of II-III. In two studies, the control treatment was a cardiologist (12;15) and two studies reported the inclusion of a dietitian, physiotherapist and psychologist as members of the multidisciplinary team (12;19).
All Cause Mortality
Eight studies reported all cause mortality (number of persons) at 1 year follow-up. (12-19) When the results of all eight studies were pooled, there was a statistically significant RRR of 29% with moderate heterogeneity (I2 of 38%). The results of the subgroup analyses indicated a significant RRR of 40% in all cause mortality when SMCCC is delivered through a direct team model (clinic) and a 35% RRR when SMCCC was compared with a primary care practitioner.
HF-Specific Mortality
Three studies reported HF-specific mortality (number of persons) at 1 year follow-up. (15;18;19) When the results of these were pooled, there was an insignificant RRR of 42% with high statistical heterogeneity (I2 of 60%). The GRADE quality of evidence is moderate for the pooled analysis of all studies.
All Cause Hospitalization
Seven studies reported all cause hospitalization at 1-year follow-up (13-15;17-19). When pooled, their results showed a statistically insignificant 12% increase in hospitalizations in the SMCCC group with high statistical heterogeneity (I2 of 81%). A significant RRR of 12% in all cause hospitalization in favour of the SMCCC care group was achieved when SMCCC was delivered using an indirect model (telephonic) with an associated (I2 of 0%). The Grade quality of evidence was found to be low for the pooled analysis of all studies and moderate for the subgroup analysis of the indirect team care model.
HF-Specific Hospitalization
Six studies reported HF-specific hospitalization at 1-year follow-up. (13-15;17;19) When pooled, the results of these studies showed an insignificant RRR of 14% with high statistical heterogeneity (I2 of 60%); however, the quality of evidence for the pooled analysis of was low.
Duration of Hospital Stay
Seven studies reported duration of hospital stay, four in terms of mean duration of stay in days (14;16;17;19) and three in terms of total hospital bed days (12;13;18). Most studies reported all cause duration of hospital stay while two also reported HF-specific duration of hospital stay. These data were not amenable to meta-analyses as standard deviations were not provided in the reports. However, in general (and in all but one study) it appears that persons receiving SMCCC had shorter hospital stays, whether measured as mean days in hospital or total hospital bed days.
Emergency Room Visits
Only one study reported emergency room visits. (14) This was presented as a composite of readmissions and ER visits, where the authors reported that 77% (59/76) of the SMCCC group and 84% (63/75) of the usual care group were either readmitted or had an ER visit within the 1 year of follow-up (P=0.029).
Quality of Life
Quality of life was reported in five studies using the Minnesota Living with HF Questionnaire (MLHFQ) (12-15;19) and in one study using the Nottingham Health Profile Questionnaire(16). The MLHFQ results are reported in our analysis. Two studies reported the mean score at 1 year follow-up, although did not provide the standard deviation of the mean in their report. One study reported the median and range scores at 1 year follow-up in each group. Two studies reported the change scores of the physical and emotional subscales of the MLHFQ of which only one study reported a statistically significant change from baseline to 1 year follow-up between treatment groups in favour of the SMCCC group in the physical sub-scale. A significant change in the emotional subscale scores from baseline to 1 year follow-up in the treatment groups was not reported in either study.
Conclusion
There is moderate quality evidence that SMCCC reduces all cause mortality by 29%. There is low quality evidence that SMCCC contributes to a shorter duration of hospital stay and improves quality of life compared to usual care. The evidence supports that SMCCC is effective when compared to usual care provided by either a primary care practitioner or a cardiologist. It does not, however, suggest an optimal model of care or discern what the effective program components are. A field evaluation could address this uncertainty.
PMCID: PMC3377506  PMID: 23074521
13.  Community-Based Care for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes 
Executive Summary
In June 2008, the Medical Advisory Secretariat began work on the Diabetes Strategy Evidence Project, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding strategies for successful management and treatment of diabetes. This project came about when the Health System Strategy Division at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care subsequently asked the secretariat to provide an evidentiary platform for the Ministry’s newly released Diabetes Strategy.
After an initial review of the strategy and consultation with experts, the secretariat identified five key areas in which evidence was needed. Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these five areas: insulin pumps, behavioural interventions, bariatric surgery, home telemonitoring, and community based care. For each area, an economic analysis was completed where appropriate and is described in a separate report.
To review these titles within the Diabetes Strategy Evidence series, please visit the Medical Advisory Secretariat Web site, http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/mas_about.html,
Diabetes Strategy Evidence Platform: Summary of Evidence-Based Analyses
Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion Pumps for Type 1 and Type 2 Adult Diabetics: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Behavioural Interventions for Type 2 Diabetes: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Bariatric Surgery for People with Diabetes and Morbid Obesity: An Evidence-Based Summary
Community-Based Care for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Home Telemonitoring for Type 2 Diabetes: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Application of the Ontario Diabetes Economic Model (ODEM) to Determine the Cost-effectiveness and Budget Impact of Selected Type 2 Diabetes Interventions in Ontario
Objective
The objective of this report is to determine the efficacy of specialized multidisciplinary community care for the management of type 2 diabetes compared to usual care.
Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition
Diabetes (i.e. diabetes mellitus) is a highly prevalent chronic metabolic disorder that interferes with the body’s ability to produce or effectively use insulin. The majority (90%) of diabetes patients have type 2 diabetes. (1) Based on the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS), intensive blood glucose and blood pressure control significantly reduce the risk of microvascular and macrovascular complications in type 2 diabetics. While many studies have documented that patients often do not meet the glycemic control targets specified by national and international guidelines, factors associated with glycemic control are less well studied, one of which is the provider(s) of care.
Multidisciplinary approaches to care may be particularly important for diabetes management. According guidelines from the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA), the diabetes health care team should be multi-and interdisciplinary. Presently in Ontario, the core diabetes health care team consists of at least a family physician and/or diabetes specialist, and diabetes educators (registered nurse and registered dietician).
Increasing the role played by allied health care professionals in diabetes care and their collaboration with physicians may represent a more cost-effective option for diabetes management. Several systematic reviews and meta-analyses have examined multidisciplinary care programs, but these have either been limited to a specific component of multidisciplinary care (e.g. intensified education programs), or were conducted as part of a broader disease management program, of which not all were multidisciplinary in nature. Most reviews also do not clearly define the intervention(s) of interest, making the evaluation of such multidisciplinary community programs challenging.
Evidence-Based Analysis Methods
Research Questions
What is the evidence of efficacy of specialized multidisciplinary community care provided by at least a registered nurse, registered dietician and physician (primary care and/or specialist) for the management of type 2 diabetes compared to usual care? [Henceforth referred to as Model 1]
What is the evidence of efficacy of specialized multidisciplinary community care provided by at least a pharmacist and a primary care physician for the management of type 2 diabetes compared to usual care? [Henceforth referred to as Model 2]
Inclusion Criteria
English language full-reports
Published between January 1, 2000 and September 28, 2008
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), systematic reviews and meta-analyses
Type 2 diabetic adult population (≥18 years of age)
Total sample size ≥30
Describe specialized multidisciplinary community care defined as ambulatory-based care provided by at least two health care disciplines (of which at least one must be a specialist in diabetes) with integrated communication between the care providers.
Compared to usual care (defined as health care provision by non-specialist(s) in diabetes, such as primary care providers; may include referral to other health care professionals/services as necessary)
≥6 months follow-up
Exclusion Criteria
Studies where discrete results on diabetes cannot be abstracted
Predominantly home-based interventions
Inpatient-based interventions
Outcomes of Interest
The primary outcomes for this review were glycosylated hemoglobin (rHbA1c) levels and systolic blood pressure (SBP).
Search Strategy
A literature search was performed on September 28, 2008 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published between January 1, 2000 and September 28, 2008. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria, full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. Articles with unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist, then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established. The quality of evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low or very low according to GRADE methodology.
Given the high clinical heterogeneity of the articles that met the inclusion criteria, specific models of specialized multidisciplinary community care were examined based on models of care that are currently being supported in Ontario, models of care that were commonly reported in the literature, as well as suggestions from an Expert Advisory Panel Meeting held on January 21, 2009.
Summary of Findings
The initial search yielded 2,116 unique citations, from which 22 RCTs trials and nine systematic reviews published were identified as meeting the eligibility criteria. Of these, five studies focused on care provided by at least a nurse, dietician, and physician (primary care and/or specialist) model of care (Model 1; see Table ES 1), while three studies focused on care provided by at least a pharmacist and primary care physician (Model 2; see Table ES 2).
Based on moderate quality evidence, specialized multidisciplinary community care Model 2 has demonstrated a statistically and clinically significant reduction in HbA1c of 1.0% compared with usual care. The effects of this model on SBP, however, are uncertain compared with usual care, based on very-low quality evidence. Specialized multidisciplinary community care Model 2 has demonstrated a statistically and clinically significant reduction in both HbA1c of 1.05% (based on high quality evidence) and SBP of 7.13 mm Hg (based on moderate quality evidence) compared to usual care. For both models, the evidence does not suggest a preferred setting of care delivery (i.e., primary care vs. hospital outpatient clinic vs. community clinic).
Summary of Results of Meta-Analyses of the Effects of Multidisciplinary Care Model 1
Mean change from baseline to follow-up between intervention and control groups
Summary of Results of Meta-Analyses of the Effects of Multidisciplinary Care Model 2
Mean change from baseline to follow-up between intervention and control groups
PMCID: PMC3377524  PMID: 23074528
14.  Implementing the ABCDE Bundle into Everyday Care: Opportunities, Challenges and Lessons Learned for Implementing the ICU Pain, Agitation and Delirium (PAD) Guidelines 
Critical care medicine  2013;41(9 0 1):S116-S127.
Objective
The Awakening and Breathing Coordination, Delirium monitoring/management and Early exercise/mobility (ABCDE) bundle is an evidence-based, interprofessional, multicomponent strategy for minimizing sedative exposure, reducing duration of mechanical ventilation and managing intensive care unit (ICU) acquired delirium and weakness. The purpose of this study was to identify facilitators and barriers to ABCDE bundle adoption and to evaluate the extent to which bundle implementation was effective, sustainable, and conducive to dissemination.
Design
Prospective, before-after, mixed-methods study.
Setting
Five adult ICUs, 1 step-down unit, and a special care unit located in a 624 bed, academic medical center
Subjects
Interprofessional ICU team members at participating institution.
Interventions and Measurements
In collaboration with the participating institution, we developed, implemented, and refined an ABCDE bundle policy. Over the course of an 18 month period, all ICU team members were offered the opportunity to participate in numerous, multimodal educational efforts. Three focus group sessions, 3 online surveys, and 1 educational evaluation were administered in an attempt to identify facilitators and barriers to bundle adoption.
Main Results
Factors believed to facilitate bundle implementation included: 1) the performance of daily, interdisciplinary, rounds, 2) engagement of key implementation leaders, 3) sustained and diverse educational efforts, and 4) the bundle's quality and strength. Barriers identified included: 1) intervention related issues (e.g. timing of trials, fear of adverse events), 2) communication and care coordination challenges, 3) knowledge deficits, 4) workload concerns, and 5) documentation burden. Despite these challenges, participants believed implementation ultimately benefited patients, improved interdisciplinary communication, and empowered nurses and other ICU team members.
Conclusions
In this study of the implementation of the ABCDE bundle in a tertiary care setting, clear factors were identified that both advanced and impeded adoption of this complex intervention that requires interprofessional education, coordination, and cooperation. Focusing on these factors preemptively should enable a more effective and lasting implementation of the bundle and better care for critically ill patients. Lessons learned from this study will also help healthcare providers optimize implementation of the recent ICU Pain, Agitation and Delirium (PAD) Guidelines, which has many similarities but also some important differences as compared to the ABCDE bundle
doi:10.1097/CCM.0b013e3182a17064
PMCID: PMC4096994  PMID: 23989089
Delirium; immobility; intensive care unit; implementation research; ABCDE bundle; interprofessional
15.  Reducing the burden of cardiovascular diseases: A qualitative assessment of Louisiana health disparities collaboratives 
Background:
Chronic diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, continue to lead the way with regard to mortality as well as morbidity in the United States. Despite several efforts to prevent the onset of these diseases in the last couple of decades, the burden of chronic diseases continues to rise. The burden of chronic diseases has increased more rapidly among disparate populations, particularly among ethnic minorities, rural, and those in the lower socio-economic status.
Rationale for Study:
In an effort to reach the disparate populations, health disparities collaborative was implemented in Louisiana in 2010 in three federally qualified health centers to improve delivery of quality care and improve health outcomes for patients diagnosed with diabetes and heart disease.
Materials and Methods:
A qualitative study was conducted using individual face-to-face interviews at each clinical site to assess the level of implementation, satisfaction with the initiative, and challenges and barriers in implementing the initiative. Data in this qualitative study were analyzed using interpretative coding.
Results:
All three clinical sites expressed satisfaction in implementing the collaborative and appreciated the coordinated efforts to treat chronic diseases among their patients.
Interpretation:
Although the implementation of chronic disease collaborative appeared to be very successful based on the qualitative data as well as clinical outcomes, several challenges in implementation were observed. Results of the study indicated a need for strong leadership at the clinical sites, enhanced communication efforts to engage the collaborative team, and increased emphasis on patient education for successful implementation of the collaborative.
doi:10.4103/0975-3583.102711
PMCID: PMC3516011  PMID: 23233775
Chronic disease; disparities; qualitative study
16.  29B. Enhancing Primary Healthcare Delivery in the Inner City Through Interprofessional Team-based Care 
Focus Area: Sustainable Business Models
This session will describe the evolution of an integrative model of primary healthcare delivery within a hospital-based setting. Over the past decade, the Academic Family Health Team (AFHT) in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at St Michael's Hospital in Toronto has been in the business of transforming primary healthcare. The AFHT provides services to the inner-city community of Toronto through 5 clinical sites located conveniently in the downtown east core. Our model of care incorporates patient- and family-centered values; interprofessional collaboration; and accessible evidence-based care and research. Evaluation of our efforts has proved emancipating for both clinicians and patients—with the delivery of integrative healthcare services, improved coordination of care, enhanced patient outcomes and satisfaction, improved quality of work life for our health professional team, and patient/family empowerment in self-help strategies. This model of care was identified by the Council of the Federation Health Care Innovation Working Group as one of 4 innovative models of primary care delivery to be emulated in Canada. The session will describe our experiences in building our integrative healthcare team. Facilitators and barriers to the development of successful integrative models of primary care will be described. Specific strategies that have facilitated success in our experience also will be shared.
doi:10.7453/gahmj.2013.097CP.S29B
PMCID: PMC3875096
17.  Interprofessional faculty development: integration of oral health into the geriatric diabetes curriculum, from theory to practice 
Background
Health care workforce shortages and an increase demand for health care services by an older demographic challenged by oral–systemic conditions are being recognized across health care systems. Demands are placed on health care professionals to render coordinated delivery of services. Management of oral–systemic conditions requires a trained health care workforce to render interprofessional patient-centered and coordinated delivery of health care services. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effectiveness of an interprofessional health care faculty training program.
Methods
A statewide comprehensive type 2 diabetes training program was developed and offered to multidisciplinary health care faculty using innovative educational methods. Video-recorded clinically simulated patient encounters concentrated on the oral–systemic interactions between type 2 diabetes and comorbidities. Post-encounter instructors facilitated debriefing focused on preconceptions, self-assessment, and peer discussions, to develop a joint interprofessional care plan. Furthermore, the health care faculty explored nonhierarchical opportunities to bridge common health care themes and concepts, as well as opportunities to translate information into classroom instruction and patient care.
Results
Thirty-six health care faculty from six disciplines completed the pre-research and post-research assessment survey to evaluate attitudes, knowledge, and perceptions following the interprofessional health care faculty training program. Post-training interprofessional team building knowledge improved significantly. The health care faculty post-training attitude scores improved significantly, with heightened awareness of the unique oral–systemic care needs of older adults with type 2 diabetes, supporting an interprofessional team approach to care management. In addition, the health care faculty viewed communication across disciplines as being essential and interprofessional training as being vital to the core curriculum of each discipline. Significant improvement occurred in the perception survey items for team accountability and use of uniform terminology to bridge communication gaps.
Conclusion
Attitude, knowledge, and perceptions of health care faculty regarding interprofessional team building and the team approach to management of the oral–systemic manifestations of chronic disease in older adults was improved. Uniform language to promote communication across health professionals, care settings, and caregivers/patients, was noted. Interprofessional team building/care planning should be integrated in core curricula.
doi:10.2147/JMDH.S54851
PMCID: PMC3862736  PMID: 24363558
team building; patient-centered care; oral–systemic; older adults
18.  Barriers to discharge in an acute care medical teaching unit: a qualitative analysis of health providers’ perceptions 
Background
The complex process of discharging patients from acute care to community care requires a multifaceted interaction between all health care providers and patients. Poor communication in a patient’s discharge can result in post hospital adverse events, readmission, and mortality. Because of the gravity of these problems, discharge planning has been emphasized as a potential solution. The purpose of this paper is to identify communication barriers to effective discharge planning in an acute care unit of a tertiary care center and to suggest solutions to these barriers.
Methods
Health care providers provided comments to a single open-ended question: “What are the communication barriers between the different health care providers that limit an effective discharge of patients from Unit 36?” We conducted qualitative thematic analysis by identifying themes related to communication barriers affecting a successful discharge process.
Results
Three broad themes related to barriers to the discharge process were identified: communication, lack of role clarity and lack of resources. We also identified two themes for opportunities for improvement, ie, structure and function of the medical team and need for leadership.
Conclusion
While it was evident that poor communication was an overarching barrier identified by health care providers, other themes emerged. In an effort to increase inter-team communication, “bullet rounds”, a condensed form of discharge rounds, were introduced to the medical teaching unit and occurred on a daily basis between the multidisciplinary team. To help facilitate provider-patient communication, electronic transfer of care summaries were suggested as a potential solution. To help role clarity, a discharge coordinator and/or liaison was suggested. Communication can be enhanced through use of electronic discharge summaries, bullet rounds, and implementation of a discharge coordinator(s). The findings from this study can be used to aid future researchers in devising appropriate discharging strategies that are focused around the patient and inter-health care provider communication.
doi:10.2147/JMDH.S72633
PMCID: PMC4334352  PMID: 25709468
communication; discharge planning; continuum of care; acute care setting; barriers
19.  Assessment of Chronic Illness Care (ACIC): A Practical Tool to Measure Quality Improvement 
Health Services Research  2002;37(3):791-820.
Objective
To describe initial testing of the Assessment of Chronic Illness Care (ACIC), a practical quality-improvement tool to help organizations evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their delivery of care for chronic illness in six areas: community linkages, self-management support, decision support, delivery system design, information systems, and organization of care.
Data Sources
(1) Pre-post, self-report ACIC data from organizational teams enrolled in 13-month quality-improvement collaboratives focused on care for chronic illness; (2) independent faculty ratings of team progress at the end of collaborative.
Study design
Teams completed the ACIC at the beginning and end of the collaborative using a consensus format that produced average ratings of their system's approach to delivering care for the targeted chronic condition. Average ACIC subscale scores (ranging from 0 to 11, with 11 representing optimal care) for teams across all four collaboratives were obtained to indicate how teams rated their care for chronic illness before beginning improvement work. Paired t-tests were used to evaluate the sensitivity of the ACIC to detect system improvements for teams in two (of four) collaboratives focused on care for diabetes and congestive heart failure (CHF). Pearson correlations between the ACIC subscale scores and a faculty rating of team performance were also obtained.
Results
Average baseline scores across all teams enrolled at the beginning of the collaboratives ranged from 4.36 (information systems) to 6.42 (organization of care), indicating basic to good care for chronic illness. All six ACIC subscale scores were responsive to system improvements diabetes and CHF teams made over the course of the collaboratives. The most substantial improvements were seen in decision support, delivery system design, and information systems. CHF teams had particularly high scores in self-management support at the completion of the collaborative. Pearson correlations between the ACIC subscales and the faculty rating ranged from .28 to .52.
Conclusion
These results and feedback from teams suggest that the ACIC is responsive to health care quality-improvement efforts and may be a useful tool to guide quality improvement in chronic illness care and to track progress over time.
doi:10.1111/1475-6773.00049
PMCID: PMC1434662  PMID: 12132606
Measurement; quality; chronic illness; health care; systems
20.  The Impact of eHealth on the Quality and Safety of Health Care: A Systematic Overview 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(1):e1000387.
Aziz Sheikh and colleagues report the findings of their systematic overview that assessed the impact of eHealth solutions on the quality and safety of health care.
Background
There is considerable international interest in exploiting the potential of digital solutions to enhance the quality and safety of health care. Implementations of transformative eHealth technologies are underway globally, often at very considerable cost. In order to assess the impact of eHealth solutions on the quality and safety of health care, and to inform policy decisions on eHealth deployments, we undertook a systematic review of systematic reviews assessing the effectiveness and consequences of various eHealth technologies on the quality and safety of care.
Methods and Findings
We developed novel search strategies, conceptual maps of health care quality, safety, and eHealth interventions, and then systematically identified, scrutinised, and synthesised the systematic review literature. Major biomedical databases were searched to identify systematic reviews published between 1997 and 2010. Related theoretical, methodological, and technical material was also reviewed. We identified 53 systematic reviews that focused on assessing the impact of eHealth interventions on the quality and/or safety of health care and 55 supplementary systematic reviews providing relevant supportive information. This systematic review literature was found to be generally of substandard quality with regards to methodology, reporting, and utility. We thematically categorised eHealth technologies into three main areas: (1) storing, managing, and transmission of data; (2) clinical decision support; and (3) facilitating care from a distance. We found that despite support from policymakers, there was relatively little empirical evidence to substantiate many of the claims made in relation to these technologies. Whether the success of those relatively few solutions identified to improve quality and safety would continue if these were deployed beyond the contexts in which they were originally developed, has yet to be established. Importantly, best practice guidelines in effective development and deployment strategies are lacking.
Conclusions
There is a large gap between the postulated and empirically demonstrated benefits of eHealth technologies. In addition, there is a lack of robust research on the risks of implementing these technologies and their cost-effectiveness has yet to be demonstrated, despite being frequently promoted by policymakers and “techno-enthusiasts” as if this was a given. In the light of the paucity of evidence in relation to improvements in patient outcomes, as well as the lack of evidence on their cost-effectiveness, it is vital that future eHealth technologies are evaluated against a comprehensive set of measures, ideally throughout all stages of the technology's life cycle. Such evaluation should be characterised by careful attention to socio-technical factors to maximise the likelihood of successful implementation and adoption.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
There is considerable international interest in exploiting the potential of digital health care solutions, often referred to as eHealth—the use of information and communication technologies—to enhance the quality and safety of health care. Often accompanied by large costs, any large-scale expenditure on eHealth—such as electronic health records, picture archiving and communication systems, ePrescribing, associated computerized provider order entry systems, and computerized decision support systems—has tended to be justified on the grounds that these are efficient and cost-effective means for improving health care. In 2005, the World Health Assembly passed an eHealth resolution (WHA 58.28) that acknowledged, “eHealth is the cost-effective and secure use of information and communications technologies in support of health and health-related fields, including health-care services, health surveillance, health literature, and health education, knowledge and research,” and urged member states to develop and implement eHealth technologies. Since then, implementing eHealth technologies has become a main priority for many countries. For example, England has invested at least £12.8 billion in a National Programme for Information Technology for the National Health Service, and the Obama administration in the United States has committed to a US$38 billion eHealth investment in health care.
Why Was This Study Done?
Despite the wide endorsement of and support for eHealth, the scientific basis of its benefits—which are repeatedly made and often uncritically accepted—remains to be firmly established. A robust evidence-based perspective on the advantages on eHealth could help to suggest priority areas that have the greatest potential for benefit to patients and also to inform international eHealth deliberations on costs. Therefore, in order to better inform the international community, the authors systematically reviewed the published systematic review literature on eHealth technologies and evaluated the impact of these technologies on the quality and safety of health care delivery.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers divided eHealth technologies into three main categories: (1) storing, managing, and transmission of data; (2) clinical decision support; and (3) facilitating care from a distance. Then, implementing methods based on those developed by the Cochrane Collaboration and the NHS Service Delivery and Organisation Programme, the researchers used detailed search strategies and maps of health care quality, safety, and eHealth interventions to identify relevant systematic reviews (and related theoretical, methodological, and technical material) published between 1997 and 2010. Using these techniques, the researchers retrieved a total of 46,349 references from which they identified 108 reviews. The 53 reviews that the researchers finally selected (and critically reviewed) provided the main evidence base for assessing the impact of eHealth technologies in the three categories selected.
In their systematic review of systematic reviews, the researchers included electronic health records and picture archiving communications systems in their evaluation of category 1, computerized provider (or physician) order entry and e-prescribing in category 2, and all clinical information systems that, when used in the context of eHealth technologies, integrate clinical and demographic patient information to support clinician decision making in category 3.
The researchers found that many of the clinical claims made about the most commonly used eHealth technologies were not substantiated by empirical evidence. The evidence base in support of eHealth technologies was weak and inconsistent and importantly, there was insubstantial evidence to support the cost-effectiveness of these technologies. For example, the researchers only found limited evidence that some of the many presumed benefits could be realized; importantly, they also found some evidence that introducing these new technologies may on occasions also generate new risks such as prescribers becoming over-reliant on clinical decision support for e-prescribing, or overestimate its functionality, resulting in decreased practitioner performance.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The researchers found that despite the wide support for eHealth technologies and the frequently made claims by policy makers when constructing business cases to raise funds for large-scale eHealth projects, there is as yet relatively little empirical evidence to substantiate many of the claims made about eHealth technologies. In addition, even for the eHealth technology tools that have proven to be successful, there is little evidence to show that such tools would continue to be successful beyond the contexts in which they were originally developed. Therefore, in light of the lack of evidence in relation to improvements in patient outcomes, as well as the lack of evidence on their cost-effectiveness, the authors say that future eHealth technologies should be evaluated against a comprehensive set of measures, ideally throughout all stages of the technology's life cycle, and include socio-technical factors to maximize the likelihood of successful implementation and adoption in a given context. Furthermore, it is equally important that eHealth projects that have already been commissioned are subject to rigorous, multidisciplinary, and independent evaluation.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000387.
The authors' broader study is: Car J, Black A, Anandan C, Cresswell K, Pagliari C, McKinstry B, et al. (2008) The Impact of eHealth on the Quality and Safety of Healthcare. Available at: http://www.haps.bham.ac.uk/publichealth/cfhep/001.shtml
More information is available on the World Health Assembly eHealth resolution
The World Health Organization provides information at the Global Observatory on eHealth, as well as a global insight into eHealth developments
The European Commission provides Information on eHealth in Europe and some examples of good eHealth practice
More information is provided on NHS Connecting for Health
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000387
PMCID: PMC3022523  PMID: 21267058
21.  Lessons Learned for Collaborative Clinical Content Development 
Applied Clinical Informatics  2013;4(2):304-316.
Background
Site-specific content configuration of vendor-based Electronic Health Records (EHRs) is a vital step in the development of standardized and interoperable content that can be used for clinical decision-support, reporting, care coordination, and information exchange. The multi-site, multi-stakeholder Acute Care Documentation (ACD) project at Partners Healthcare Systems (PHS) aimed to develop highly structured clinical content with adequate breadth and depth to meet the needs of all types of acute care clinicians at two academic medical centers. The Knowledge Management (KM) team at PHS led the informatics and knowledge management effort for the project.
Objectives
We aimed to evaluate the role, governance, and project management processes and resources for the KM team’s effort as part of the standardized clinical content creation.
Methods
We employed the Center for Disease Control’s six step Program Evaluation Framework to guide our evaluation steps. We administered a forty-four question, open-ended, semi-structured voluntary survey to gather focused, credible evidence from members of the KM team. Qualitative open-coding was performed to identify themes for lessons learned and concluding recommendations.
Results
Six surveys were completed. Qualitative data analysis informed five lessons learned and thirty specific recommendations associated with the lessons learned. The five lessons learned are: 1) Assess and meet knowledge needs and set expectations at the start of the project; 2) Define an accountable decision-making process; 3) Increase team meeting moderation skills; 4) Ensure adequate resources and competency training with online asynchronous collaboration tools; 5) Develop focused, goal-oriented teams and supportive, consultative service based teams.
Conclusions
Knowledge management requirements for the development of standardized clinical content within a vendor-based EHR among multi-stakeholder teams and sites include: 1) assessing and meeting informatics knowledge needs, 2) setting expectations and standardizing the process for decision-making, and 3) ensuring the availability of adequate resources and competency training.
doi:10.4338/ACI-2013-02-CR-0014
PMCID: PMC3716419  PMID: 23874366
Knowledge management; content development; standardization; governance; program evaluation
22.  Strengthening government management capacity to scale up HIV prevention programs through the use of Technical Support Units: lessons from Karnataka state, India 
A Technical Support Unit of managerial and technical experts, embedded in but distinct from the government, provided support in 5 key areas: strategic planning; monitoring and evaluation; supportive supervision; training; and information, education, and communication. This model likely contributed to effective and rapid scale up of Karnataka state's HIV prevention program. A clear mandate, close collaboration, and well-defined roles were keys to success.
A Technical Support Unit of managerial and technical experts, embedded in but distinct from the government, provided support in 5 key areas: strategic planning; monitoring and evaluation; supportive supervision; training; and information, education, and communication. This model likely contributed to effective and rapid scale up of Karnataka state's HIV prevention program. A clear mandate, close collaboration, and well-defined roles were keys to success.
ABSTRACT
Scaling up HIV prevention programming among key populations (female sex workers and men who have sex with men) has been a central strategy of the Government of India. However, state governments have lacked the technical and managerial capacity to oversee and scale up interventions or to absorb donor-funded programs. In response, the national government contracted Technical Support Units (TSUs), teams with expertise from the private and nongovernmental sectors, to collaborate with and assist state governments. In 2008, a TSU was established in Karnataka, one of 6 Indian states with the highest HIV prevalence in the country and where monitoring showed that its prevention programs were reaching only 5% of key populations. The TSU provided support to the state in 5 key areas: assisting in strategic planning, rolling out a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system, providing supportive supervision to intervention units, facilitating training, and assisting with information, education, and communication activities. This collaborative management model helped to increase capacity of the state, enabling it to take over funding and oversight of HIV prevention programs previously funded through donors. With the combined efforts of the TSU and the state government, the number of intervention units statewide increased from 40 to 126 between 2009 and 2013. Monthly contacts with female sex workers increased from 5% in 2008 to 88% in 2012, and with men who have sex with men, from 36% in 2009 to 81% in 2012. There were also increases in the proportion of both populations who visited HIV testing and counseling centers (from 3% to 47% among female sex workers and from 6% to 33% among men who have sex with men) and sexually transmitted infection clinics (from 4% to 75% among female sex workers and from 7% to 67% among men who have sex with men). Changes in sexual behaviors among key populations were also documented. For example, between 2008 and 2010, the proportion of surveyed female sex workers in 9 districts reporting that they used a condom at last intercourse rose from 60% to 68%; in 6 districts, the proportion of surveyed men who have sex with men reporting that they used a condom at last anal sex increased from 89% to 97%. The Karnataka experience suggests that TSUs can help governments enhance managerial and technical resources and leverage funds more effectively. With careful management of the working and reporting relationships between the TSU and the state government, this additional capacity can pave the way for the government to improve and scale up programs and to absorb previously donor-funded programs.
doi:10.9745/GHSP-D-14-00141
PMCID: PMC4307860  PMID: 25611478
23.  An Overview of the CERC ARTEMIS Project 
The basic premise of this effort is that health care can be made more effective and affordable by applying modern computer technology to improve collaboration among diverse and distributed health care providers.
Information sharing, communication, and coordination are basic elements of any collaborative endeavor. In the health care domain, collaboration is characterized by cooperative activities by health care providers to deliver total and real-time care for their patients. Communication between providers and managed access to distributed patient records should enable health care providers to make informed decisions about their patients in a timely manner. With an effective medical information infrastructure in place, a patient will be able to visit any health care provider with access to the network, and the provider will be able to use relevant information from even the last episode of care in the patient record. Such a patient-centered perspective is in keeping with the real mission of health care providers.
Today, an easy-to-use, integrated health care network is not in place in any community, even though current technology makes such a network possible. Large health care systems have deployed partial and disparate systems that address different elements of collaboration. But these islands of automation have not been integrated to facilitate cooperation among health care providers in large communities or nationally.
CERC and its team members at Valley Health Systems, Inc., St. Marys Hospital and Cabell Huntington Hospital form a consortium committed to improving collaboration among the diverse and distributed providers in the health care arena. As the first contract recipient of the multi-agency High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) Initiative, this team of computer system developers, practicing rural physicians, community care groups, health care researchers, and tertiary care providers are using research prototypes and commercial off-the-shelf technologies to develop an open collaboration environment for the health care domain. This environment is called ARTEMIS — Advanced Research TEstbed for Medical InformaticS.
PMCID: PMC2579046  PMID: 8563249
24.  How can insulin initiation delivery in a dual-sector health system be optimised? A qualitative study on healthcare professionals’ views 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:313.
Background
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate in developing countries. However, glycaemia control remains suboptimal and insulin use is low. One important barrier is the lack of an efficient and effective insulin initiation delivery approach. This study aimed to document the strategies used and proposed by healthcare professionals to improve insulin initiation in the Malaysian dual-sector (public–private) health system.
Methods
In depth interviews and focus group discussions were conducted in Klang Valley and Seremban, Malaysia in 2010–11. Healthcare professionals consisting of general practitioners (n = 11), medical officers (n = 8), diabetes educators (n = 3), government policy makers (n = 4), family medicine specialists (n = 10) and endocrinologists (n = 2) were interviewed. We used a topic guide to facilitate the interviews, which were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic approach.
Results
Three main themes emerged from the interviews. Firstly, there was a lack of collaboration between the private and public sectors in diabetes care. The general practitioners in the private sector proposed an integrated system for them to refer patients to the public health services for insulin initiation programmes. There could be shared care between the two sectors and this would reduce the disproportionately heavy workload at the public sector. Secondly, besides the support from the government health authority, the healthcare professionals wanted greater involvement of non-government organisations, media and pharmaceutical industry in facilitating insulin initiation in both the public and private sectors. The support included: training of healthcare professionals; developing and disseminating patient education materials; service provision by diabetes education teams; organising programmes for patients’ peer group sessions; increasing awareness and demystifying insulin via public campaigns; and subsidising glucose monitoring equipment. Finally, the healthcare professionals proposed the establishment of multidisciplinary teams as a strategy to increase the rate of insulin initiation. Having team members from different ethnic backgrounds would help to overcome language and cultural differences when communicating with patients.
Conclusion
The challenges faced by a dual-sector health system in delivering insulin initiation may be addressed by greater collaborations between the private and public sectors and governmental and non-government organisations, and among different healthcare professionals.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-313
PMCID: PMC3533841  PMID: 22545648
Insulin initiation; Dual-sector health system; Malaysia; Diabetes; Public sector; Private sector
25.  VA Experience in Implementing Patient-Centered Medical Home Using a Breakthrough Series Collaborative 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2014;29(Suppl 2):563-571.
ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND
Veterans Health Administration (VHA) seeks to improve the delivery of patient-centered care. A Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Model, named Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT), was implemented to transform the VHA primary care delivery process. VHA used a collaborative learning model as a key approach to disseminate PACT concepts and changes.
OBJECTIVE
To describe and examine VHA’s experience disseminating PACT transformation using a Breakthrough Series Collaborative method.
DESIGN
Observational study.
PARTICIPANTS
Approximately 250–350 individuals from 141 teams participated in six face-to-face learning sessions across 21 months.
MAIN MEASURES
1) PACT Collaborative participant surveys; 2) Coach Assessment Scores and Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) data; and 3) PACT Compass (national measures to assess PACT implementation within VA healthcare system).
KEY RESULTS
A majority of the participants indicated that the PACT Collaborative was necessary to implement PACT. The number of PDSAs increased steadily during the Collaborative period; 93 % (n = 1,547) of PDSAs were successfully implemented. Teams successfully achieved over 80 % of their aims, which were highly correlated with PDSAs implemented (R2 = 0.88). The most successful aims achieved were offering same-day appointments, increasing non-face-to-face care, and improving team communication. PACT Compass indicated an improvement after the Collaborative (p-value < .000), and providers observed differences in their care practice (p-value < 0.002). This positive impact may be due to the spread of the PACT Model through the PACT Collaborative, among other learning initiatives.
CONCLUSIONS
For complex collaborative models such as PACT, more than three learning sessions may be required. As VHA continues to disseminate the PACT Model through primary care, into specialty/surgical care and beyond, the Collaborative Learning Model may continue to be an effective way to leverage a small number of faculty, coaches, and industrial engineers across an extremely large population.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-014-2773-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s11606-014-2773-5
PMCID: PMC4070243  PMID: 24715402
access; medical home; PACT; patient-centric; collaborative

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