Screening and brief interventions (SBI) in primary healthcare are cost-effective in risky drinkers, yet they are not offered to all eligible patients. This qualitative study aimed to provide more insight into the factors and mechanisms of why, how, for whom and under what circumstances implementation strategies work or do not work in increasing SBI.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted between February and July 2014 with 40 GPs and 28 nurses in Catalonia, the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden. Participants were purposefully selected from the European Optimising Delivery of Healthcare Interventions (ODHIN) trial. This randomised controlled trial evaluated the influence of training and support, financial reimbursement and an internet-based method of delivering advice on SBI. Amongst them were 38 providers with a high screening performance and 30 with a low screening performance from different allocation groups. Realist evaluation was combined with the Tailored Implementation for Chronic Diseases framework for identification of implementation determinants to guide the interviews and analysis. Transcripts were analysed thematically with the diagram affinity method.
Training and support motivated SBI by improved knowledge, skills and prioritisation. Continuous provision, sufficient time to learn intervention techniques and to tailor to individual experienced barriers, seemed important T&S conditions. Catalan and Polish professionals perceived financial reimbursement to be an additional stimulating factor as well, as effects on SBI were smoothened by personnel levels and salary levels. Structural payment for preventive services rather than a temporary project based payment, might have increased the effects of financial reimbursement. Implementing e-BI seem to require more guidance than was delivered in ODHIN. Despite the allocation, important preconditions for SBI routine seemed frequent exposure of this topic in media and guidelines, SBI facilitating information systems, and having SBI in protocol-led care. Hence, the second order analysis revealed that the applied implementation strategies have high potential on the micro professional level and meso-organisational level, however due to influences from the macro- level such as societal and political culture the effects risks to get nullified.
Essential determinants perceived for the implementation of SBI routines were identified, in particular for training and support and financial reimbursement. However, focusing only on the primary healthcare setting seems insufficient and a more integrated SBI culture, together with meso- and macro-focused implementation process is requested.
ClinicalTrials.gov. Trial identifier: NCT01501552.
Screening and brief intervention; Alcohol prevention; Primary healthcare; Implementation; Qualitative evaluation
Numerous studies have demonstrated that positive organizational climates contribute to better work performance. Screening and brief intervention (SBI) for alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use has the potential to reach a broad population of hazardous drug users but has not yet been widely adopted in Brazil’s health care system. We surveyed 149 primary health care professionals in 30 clinics in Brazil who were trained to conduct SBI among their patients. We prospectively measured how often they delivered SBI to evaluate the association between organizational climate and adoption/performance of SBI.
Organizational climate was measured by the 2009 Organizational Climate Scale for Health Organizations, a scale validated in Brazil that assesses leadership, professional development, team spirit, relationship with the community, safety, strategy, and remuneration. Performance of SBI was measured prospectively by weekly assessments during the three months following training. We also assessed self-reported SBI and self-efficacy for performing SBI at three months post-training. We used inferential statistics to depict and test for the significance of associations.
Teams with better organizational climates implemented SBI more frequently. Organizational climate factors most closely associated with SBI implementation included professional development and relationship with the community. The dimensions of leadership and remuneration were also significantly associated with SBI.
Organizational climate may influence implementation of SBI and ultimately may affect the ability of organizations to identify and address drug use.
Organizational climate; Screening; Brief intervention; Alcohol; Tobacco; Substance abuse
Community-based education (CBE) can provide contextual learning that addresses manpower scarcity by enabling trainees acquire requisite experiences, competence, confidence and values. In Uganda, many health professional training institutions conduct some form of community-based education (CBE). However, there is scanty information on the nature of the training: whether a curriculum exists (objectives, intended outcomes, content, implementation strategy), administration and constraints faced. The objective was to make a comprehensive assessment of CBE as implemented by Ugandan health professional training institutions to document the nature of CBE conducted and propose an ideal model with minimum requirements for health professional training institutions in Uganda.
We employed several methods: documentary review of curricula of 22 institutions, so as to assess the nature, purpose, outcomes, and methods of instruction and assessment; site visits to these institutions and their CBE sites, to assess the learning environment (infrastructure and resources); in-depth interviews with key people involved in running CBE at the institutions and community, to evaluate CBE implementation, challenges experienced and perceived solutions.
CBE was perceived differently ranging from a subject, a course, a program or a project. Despite having similar curricula, institutions differ in the administration, implementation and assessment of CBE. Objectives of CBE, the curricula content and implementation strategies differ in similar institutions. On collaborative and social learning, most trainees do not reside in the community, though they work on group projects and write group reports. Lectures and skills demonstrations were the main instruction methods. Assessment involved mainly continuous assessment, oral or written reports and summative examination.
This assessment identified deficiencies in the design and implementation of CBE at several health professional training institutions, with major flaws identified in curriculum content, supervision of trainees, inappropriate assessment, trainee welfare, and underutilization of opportunities for contextual and collaborative learning. Since CBE showed potential to benefit the trainees, community and institutions, we propose a model that delivers a minimum package of CBE and overcomes the wide variation in the concept, conduct and implementation of CBE.
The paper combines the analytical and instrumental perspectives on communities of practice (CoPs) to reflect on potential challenges that may arise in the process of interprofessional and inter-organisational joint working within the Collaborations for Leaderships in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs)--partnerships between the universities and National Health Service (NHS) Trusts aimed at conducting applied health research and translating its findings into day-to-day clinical practice.
The paper discusses seminal theoretical literature on CoPs as well as previous empirical research on the role of these communities in healthcare collaboration, which is organised around the following three themes: knowledge sharing within and across CoPs, CoP formation and manageability, and identity building in CoPs. It argues that the multiprofessional and multi-agency nature of the CLAHRCs operating in the traditionally demarcated organisational landscape of the NHS may present formidable obstacles to knowledge sharing between various professional groupings, formation of a shared 'collaborative' identity, and the development of new communities within the CLAHRCs. To cross multiple boundaries between various professional and organisational communities and hence enable the flow of knowledge, the CLAHRCs will have to create an effective system of 'bridges' involving knowledge brokers, boundary objects, and cross-disciplinary interactions as well as address a number of issues related to professional and organisational identification.
The CoP approach can complement traditional 'stage-of-change' theories used in the field of implementation research and provide a basis for designing theory-informed interventions and evaluations. It can help to illuminate multiple boundaries that exist between professional and organisational groups within the CLAHRCs and suggest ways of crossing those boundaries to enable knowledge transfer and organisational learning. Achieving the aims of the CLAHRCs and producing a sustainable change in the ways applied health research is conducted and implemented may be influenced by how effectively these organisations can navigate through the multiple CoPs involved and promote the development of new multiprofessional and multi-organisational communities united by shared practice and a shared sense of belonging--an assumption that needs to be explored by further empirical research.
In tobacco control and other fields, point-of-sale surveillance of the retail environment is critical for understanding industry marketing of products and informing public health practice. Innovations in mobile technology can improve existing, paper-based surveillance methods, yet few studies describe in detail how to operationalize the use of technology in public health surveillance.
The aims of this paper are to share implementation strategies and lessons learned from 2 tobacco, point-of-sale surveillance projects to inform and prepare public health researchers and practitioners to implement new mobile technologies in retail point-of-sale surveillance systems.
From 2011 to 2013, 2 point-of-sale surveillance pilot projects were conducted in Washington, DC, and New York, New York, to capture information about the tobacco retail environment and test the feasibility of a multimodal mobile data collection system, which included capabilities for audio or video recording data, electronic photographs, electronic location data, and a centralized back-end server and dashboard. We established a preimplementation field testing process for both projects, which involved a series of rapid and iterative tests to inform decisions and establish protocols around key components of the project.
Important components of field testing included choosing a mobile phone that met project criteria, establishing an efficient workflow and accessible user interfaces for each component of the system, training and providing technical support to fieldworkers, and developing processes to integrate data from multiple sources into back-end systems that can be utilized in real-time.
A well-planned implementation process is critical for successful use and performance of multimodal mobile surveillance systems. Guidelines for implementation include (1) the need to establish and allow time for an iterative testing framework for resolving technical and logistical challenges; (2) developing a streamlined workflow and user-friendly interfaces for data collection; (3) allowing for ongoing communication, feedback, and technology-related skill-building among all staff; and (4) supporting infrastructure for back-end data systems. Although mobile technologies are evolving rapidly, lessons learned from these case studies are essential for ensuring that the many benefits of new mobile systems for rapid point-of-sale surveillance are fully realized.
mobile technology; public health surveillance; tobacco; point-of-sale; implementation; tobacco industry advertising; marketing
Health professions education is gradually moving away from the more traditional approaches to new innovative ways of training aimed at producing professionals with the necessary competencies to address the community health needs. In response to these emerging trends, Medical Education for Equitable Services to All Ugandans (MESAU), a consortium of Ugandan medical schools developed key competencies desirable of graduates and successfully implemented Competency Based Education (CBE) for undergraduate medical students.
To examine the current situation and establish whether assessment methods of the competencies are standardized across MESAU schools as well as establish the challenges, opportunities and lessons learned from the MESAU consortium.
It was a cross-sectional descriptive study involving faculty of the medical schools in Uganda. Data was collected using focus group discussions and document reviews. Findings were presented in form of themes.
Although the MESAU schools have implemented the developed competencies within their curricular, the assessment methods are still not standardized with each institution having its own assessment procedures. Lack of knowledge and skills regarding assessment of the competencies was evident amongst the faculty. The fear for change amongst lecturers was also noted as a major challenge. However, the institutional collaboration created while developing competencies was identified as key strength.
Findings demonstrated that despite having common competencies, there is no standardized assessment blue print applicable to all MESAU schools. Continued collaboration and faculty development in assessment is strongly recommended.
MESAU; competencies; assessment
Possible severe bacterial infections (pSBI) continue to be a leading cause of global neonatal mortality annually. With the recent publications of simplified antibiotic regimens for treatment of pSBI where referral is not possible, it is important to know how and where to target these regimens, but data on the incidence and outcomes of pSBI are limited.
We used data prospectively collected at 7 rural community-based sites in 6 low and middle income countries participating in the NICHD Global Network’s Maternal and Newborn Health Registry, between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2013. Participants included pregnant women and their live born neonates followed for 6 weeks after delivery and assessed for maternal and infant outcomes.
In a cohort of 248,539 infants born alive between 2010 and 2013, 32,088 (13 %) neonates met symptomatic criteria for pSBI. The incidence of pSBI during the first 6 weeks of life varied 10 fold from 3 % (Zambia) to 36 % (Pakistan), and overall case fatality rates varied 8 fold from 5 % (Kenya) to 42 % (Zambia). Significant variations in incidence of pSBI during the study period, with proportions decreasing in 3 sites (Argentina, Kenya and Nagpur, India), remaining stable in 3 sites (Zambia, Guatemala, Belgaum, India) and increasing in 1 site (Pakistan), cannot be explained solely by changing rates of facility deliveries. Case fatality rates did not vary over time.
In a prospective population based registry with trained data collectors, there were wide variations in the incidence and case fatality of pSBI in rural communities and in trends over time. Regardless of these variations, the burden of pSBI is still high and strategies to implement timely diagnosis and treatment are still urgently needed to reduce neonatal mortality.
The study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01073475).
Neonatal sepsis; Low middle income countries; Possible severe bacterial infections; Incidence of neonatal sepsis; Case fatality rates from neonatal sepsis; Global health
Background and objective
Social support interventions have a somewhat chequered history. Despite evidence that social connection is associated with good health, efforts to implement interventions designed to increase social support have produced mixed results. The aim of this paper is to reflect on the relationship between social connectedness and good health, by examining social support interventions with mothers of young children and analysing how support was conceptualised, enacted and valued, in order to advance what we know about providing support to improve health.
Context and approach
First, we provide a brief recent history of social support interventions for mothers with young children and we critically examine what was intended by ‘social support’, who provided it and for which groups of mothers, how support was enacted and what was valued by women. Second, we examine the challenges and promise of lay social support approaches focused explicitly on companionship, and draw on experiences in two cluster randomised trials which aimed to improve the wellbeing of mothers. One trial involved a universal approach, providing befriending opportunities for all mothers in the first year after birth, and the other a targeted approach offering support from a ‘mentor mother’ to childbearing women experiencing intimate partner violence.
Interventions providing social support to mothers have most often been directed to women seen as disadvantaged, or ‘at risk’. They have also most often been enacted by health professionals and have included strong elements of health education and/or information, almost always with a focus on improving parenting skills for better child health outcomes. Fewer have involved non-professional ‘supporters’, and only some have aimed explicitly to provide companionship or a listening ear, despite these aspects being what mothers receiving support have said they valued most. Our trial experiences have demonstrated that non-professional support interventions raise myriad challenges. These include achieving adequate reach in a universal approach, identification of those in need of support in any targeted approach; how much training and support to offer befrienders/mentors without ‘professionalising’ the support provided; questions about the length of time support is offered, how ‘closure’ is managed and whether interventions impact on social connectedness into the future. In our two trials what women described as helpful was not feeling so alone, being understood, not being judged, and feeling an increased sense of their own worth.
Conclusion and implications
Examination of how social support has been conceptualised and enacted in interventions to date can be instructive in refining our thinking about the directions to be taken in future research. Despite implementation challenges, further development and evaluation of non-professional models of providing support to improve health is warranted.
There is an increasing interest worldwide to ensure evidence-informed health policymaking as a means to improve health systems performance. There is a need to engage policymakers in collaborative approaches to generate and use knowledge in real world settings. To address this gap, we implemented two interventions based on iterative exchanges between researchers and policymakers/implementers. This article aims to reflect on the implementation and impact of these multi-site evidence-to-policy approaches implemented in low-resource settings.
The first approach was implemented in Mexico and Nicaragua and focused on implementation research facilitated by communities of practice (CoP) among maternal health stakeholders. We conducted a process evaluation of the CoPs and assessed the professionals’ abilities to acquire, analyse, adapt and apply research. The second approach, called the Policy BUilding Demand for evidence in Decision making through Interaction and Enhancing Skills (Policy BUDDIES), was implemented in South Africa and Cameroon. The intervention put forth a ‘buddying’ process to enhance demand and use of systematic reviews by sub-national policymakers. The Policy BUDDIES initiative was assessed using a mixed-methods realist evaluation design.
In Mexico, the implementation research supported by CoPs triggered monitoring by local health organizations of the quality of maternal healthcare programs. Health programme personnel involved in CoPs in Mexico and Nicaragua reported improved capacities to identify and use evidence in solving implementation problems. In South Africa, Policy BUDDIES informed a policy framework for medication adherence for chronic diseases, including both HIV and non-communicable diseases. Policymakers engaged in the buddying process reported an enhanced recognition of the value of research, and greater demand for policy-relevant knowledge.
The collaborative evidence-to-policy approaches underline the importance of iterations and continuity in the engagement of researchers and policymakers/programme managers, in order to account for swift evolutions in health policy planning and implementation. In developing and supporting evidence-to-policy interventions, due consideration should be given to fit-for-purpose approaches, as different needs in policymaking cycles require adapted processes and knowledge. Greater consideration should be provided to approaches embedding the use of research in real-world policymaking, better suited to the complex adaptive nature of health systems.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12961-016-0089-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Capacity strengthening; Communities of practice; Complex health system; Decision making; Embedded research; Evidence-informed policy; Health policy; Health systems research; Low- and middle-income countries; Policymaking; Systematic reviews; Use of evidence
In 1995, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Public Health Service (PHS) recommended that special attention be given to the information needs of unaffiliated public health professionals. In response, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) Greater Midwest Region initiated a collaborative outreach program for public health professionals working in rural east and central Iowa. Five public health agencies were provided equipment, training, and support for accessing the Internet. Key factors in the success of this project were: (1) the role of collaborating agencies in the implementation and ongoing success of information access outreach projects; (2) knowledge of the socio-cultural factors that influence the information-seeking habits of project participants (public health professionals); and (3) management of changing or varying technological infrastructures. Working with their funding, personnel from federal, state, and local governments enhanced the information-seeking skills of public health professionals in rural eastern and central Iowa communities.
Global ‘twinning’ relationships between healthcare organizations and institutions in low and high-resource settings have created growing opportunities for e-health partnerships which capitalize upon expanding information technology resources worldwide. E-learning approaches to medical education are increasingly popular but remain under-investigated, whilst a new emphasis on global health teaching has coincided with university budget cuts in many high income countries.
King’s Somaliland Partnership (KSP) is a paired institutional partnership health link, supported by Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET), which works to strengthen the healthcare system and improve access to care through mutual exchange of skills, knowledge and experience between Somaliland and King’s Health Partners, UK. Aqoon, meaning knowledge in Somali, is a peer-to-peer global mental health e-learning partnership between medical students at King’s College London (KCL) and Hargeisa and Amoud Universities, Somaliland. It aims to extend the benefits of KSP’s cross-cultural and global mental health education work to medical students and has reported positive results, including improved attitudes towards psychiatry in Somaliland students.
The process of devising, piloting, evaluating, refining, implementing, re-evaluating and again refining the Aqoon model has identified important barriers to successful partnership. This article describes lessons learned during this process, sharing principles and recommendations for readers wishing to expand their own global health link beyond qualified clinicians, to the healthcare professionals of the future.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12992-016-0221-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Global mental health; Peer-to-peer; E-learning; Psychiatry; Global health; Health partnerships; Twinning; Internet; Medical education; Low income countries
African Americans bear an unequal burden of breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer. The Deep South Network for Cancer Control (DSN) is a community–academic partnership operating in Alabama and Mississippi that was funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to address cancer disparities using community-based participatory research approaches.
In addition to reporting on the plans of this work in progress, we describe the participatory process that local residents and the DSN used to identify needs and priorities, and elaborate on lessons learned from applying a participatory approach to the development of a community action plan.
We conducted 24 community discussion groups involving health care professionals, government officials, faith-based leaders, and other stakeholders to identify cancer health disparity needs, community resources/assets, and county priorities to eliminate cancer health disparities. To develop a community action plan, four working groups explored the themes that emerged from the discussion groups, taking into consideration evidence-based strategies and promising community practices.
The DSN formulated a community action plan focusing on (1) increasing physical activity by implementing a campaign for individual-level focused activity; (2) increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables by implementing NCI’s Body and Soul Program in local churches; (3) increasing cancer screening by raising awareness through individual, system, and provider agents of change; and (4) training community partners to become effective advocates.
A community–academic partnership must involve trust, respect, and an appreciation of partners’ strengths and differences. The DSN applied these guiding principles and learned pivotal lessons.
Community health workers (CHWs) can screen for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk as well as health professionals using a non-invasive screening tool (data unpublished). However, this demonstrated success does not guarantee effective scaling of the intervention to a population level.
To report lessons learned from supervisors’ experiences monitoring CHWs and perceptions of other stakeholders regarding features for successful scaling of interventions which incorporate task-sharing with CHWs.
We conducted a qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews to explore stakeholder perceptions. Data was collected through interviews of 36 supervisors and administrators at non-governmental organizations contracted to deliver and manage primary care services using CHWs, directors and staff at the government health care clinics, and officials from the departments of health responsible for the implementation of health policy.
CHWs are recognized for their value in offsetting severe human resource shortages and for their expert community knowledge. There is a lack of clear definitions for roles, expectations, and career paths for CHWs. Formal evaluation and supervisory systems are highly desirable but nonexistent or poorly implemented, creating a critical deficit for effective implementation of programs utilizing task sharing. There is acknowledgement of environmental challenges (e.g. safety) and systemic challenges (e.g. respect from trained health professionals) that hamper the effectiveness of CHWs. The government-community relationships presumed to form the basis of redesigned health care services have to be supported more explicitly and consistently on both sides in order to increase the acceptability of CHWs and their effectiveness.
The criteria critical for successful scaling of CHW led screening are consistent with evidence for scaling up communicable disease programs. Policy makers have to commit appropriate levels of resources and political will to ensure successful scaling of this intervention.
Community health workers; cardiovascular disease; screening; scaling; policy; implementation
Basic medical sciences and clinical teachings are not coordinated in the present medical education system. They are not taught keeping in mind the outcomes required at the time of actual handling of patients in the community.
An educational development project was implemented in the Department of Pathology with the aim that it will result in the student learning to link the pathophysiology of the disease to clinical scenarios and become fully competent for lifelong medical practice.
Subjects and Methods:
The pathology teaching of the second professional batch was modified by starting with defining the desired outcomes/competencies in the student's knowledge, skills, and attitude which were then addressed by lectures, demonstrations, practical classes and small group activities where case scenarios and laboratory reports were included. The outcome was assessed by Objectively Structured Clinical/Practical Examination and multiple choice questions. Force field analysis, faculty and student interviews, and questionnaires were used to assess the factors affecting its implementation and impact.
Totally 80 students of the 2nd Professional MBBS were exposed to a competency-based education development project. It was found that the system was appreciated by faculty and students, especially the integration with clinical scenarios. There were many factors which influenced the execution of this program, including motivation level of students and faculty, time, logistics and meticulous planning.
There was a significant improvement in student's performance and satisfaction. Many factors including prior planning were a major determinant for the success of this education development project.
Competency; education development project; outcome
Filipino Americans have more adolescent pregnancies than other Asian-Pacific Islanders (APIs). Few community–academic collaborations have addressed adolescent pregnancy prevention in this community.
We sought to describe the lessons learned from and impact of a community-based teen pregnancy prevention program for Filipino Americans implemented by a Filipina pediatrics resident.
We formed a community–academic partnership between the Filipino Youth Coalition, a community-based organization (CBO) in San Jose, California, and the Stanford School of Medicine’s Pediatric Advocacy Program. We developed a culturally tailored parent–teen conference addressing adolescent pregnancy prevention in Filipino Americans. We qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated this intervention by collecting both pre- and post-conference data using a convenience sample design.
Engaging particular aspects of Filipino culture (i.e., religion and intergenerational differences) helped to make this community–academic partnership successful. For physicians-in-training who are conducting community-based participatory research (CBPR), project challenges may include difficulties in building and maintaining academic–community relationships, struggles to promote sustainability, and conflicting goals of “community insiders” and “academic outsiders.” Authors offer insights and implications for residents interested in practicing CBPR.
CBPR is a key tool for exploring health issues in understudied populations. CBPR experiences can provide meaningful educational opportunities for physicians-in-training and can build sustained capacity in CBOs. They can also help residents to develop analytic skills, directly affect the health of the communities they serve, and, for minority physicians, give back to the communities they call home.
Filipino American; health disparities; community capacity building; adolescent pregnancy; participatory research; medical education
Despite the importance of community health workers (CHWs) in strategies to reduce health disparities and the call to enhance their roles in research, little information exists on how to prepare CHWs involved in community–academic initiatives (CAIs). Therefore, the New York University Prevention Research Center piloted a CAI–CHW training program.
We applied a core competency framework to an existing CHW curriculum and bolstered the curriculum to include research-specific sessions. We employed diverse training methods, guided by adult learning principles and popular education philosophy. Evaluation instruments assessed changes related to confidence, intention to use learned skills, usefulness of sessions, and satisfaction with the training.
Results demonstrated that a core competency–based training can successfully affect CHWs’ perceived confidence and intentions to apply learned content, and can provide a larger social justice context of their role and work.
This program demonstrates that a core competency–based framework coupled with CAI-research–specific skill sessions (1) provides skills that CAI–CHWs intend to use, (2) builds confidence, and (3) provides participants with a more contextualized view of client needs and CHW roles.
New Zealand's health sector has undergone three significant restructures within 10 years. The most recent has involved a Primary Health Care Strategy, launched in 2001. Primary Health Organisations (PHOs), administered by 21 District Health Boards, are the local structures for implementing the Primary Health Care Strategy. Ninety-three percent of the New Zealand population is now enrolled within 79 PHOs, which pose a challenge to the well-established Independent Practitioner Associations (IPAs).
Although there was initial widespread support for the philosophy underlying the Primary Health Care Strategy, there are concerns amongst general practitioners (GPs) and their professional organisations relating to its implementation. These centre around 6 main issues:
1. Loss of autonomy
2. Inadequate management funding and support
3. Inconsistency and variations in contracting processes
4. Lack of publicity and advice around enrolment issues
5. Workforce and workload issues
6. Financial risks
On the other hand, many GPs are feeling positive regarding the opportunities for PHOs, particularly for being involved in the provision of a wider range of community health services. Australia has much to learn from New Zealand's latest health sector and primary health care reforms.
The key lessons concern:
• the need for a national primary health care strategy
• active engagement of general practitioners and their professional organisations
• recognition of implementation costs
• the need for infrastructural support, including information technology and quality systems
• robust management and governance arrangements
• issues related to critical mass and population/distance trade offs in service delivery models
Establishing healthy habits in youth can help prevent many chronic health problems later in life that are attributable to unhealthy eating, sedentary lifestyle, and overweight. For this reason, many public health professionals are interested in working with school systems to reach children in school settings. However, a lack of familiarity with how schools operate can be a substantial impediment to developing effective partnerships with schools.
We describe lessons learned from three successful school health promotion programs that were developed and disseminated through collaborations between public health professionals, academic institutions, and school personnel. The programs include two focused on physical activity and good nutrition for elementary and middle school children — Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) and Planet Health — and one focused on smoking cessation among adolescents — Not-On-Tobacco (N-O-T).
Important features of these school health programs include 1) identification of staff and resources required for program implementation and dissemination; 2) involvement of stakeholders (e.g., teachers, students, other school personnel, parents, nonprofit organizations, professional organizations) during all phases of program development and dissemination; 3) planning for dissemination of programs early in the development and testing process; and 4) rigorous evaluation of interventions to determine their effectiveness. The authors provide advice based on lessons learned from these programs to those who wish to work with young people in schools.
Resident interest in global health care training is growing and has been shown to have a positive effect on participants' clinical skills and cultural competency. In addition, it is associated with career choices in primary care, public health, and in the service of underserved populations. The purpose of this study was to explore, through reflective practice, how participation in a formal global health training program influences pediatric residents' perspectives when caring for diverse patient populations.
Thirteen pediatric and combined-program residents enrolled in a year-long Global Health Scholars Program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center during the 2007–2008 academic year. Educational interventions included a written curriculum, a lecture series, one-on-one mentoring sessions, an experience abroad, and reflective journaling assignments. The American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene global health competencies were used as an a priori coding framework to qualitatively analyze the reflective journal entries of the residents.
Four themes emerged from the coded journal passages from all 13 residents: (1) the burden of global disease, as a heightened awareness of the diseases that affect humans worldwide; (2) immigrant/underserved health, reflected in a desire to apply lessons learned abroad at home to provide more culturally effective care to immigrant patients in the United States; (3) parenting, or observed parental, longing to assure that their children receive health care; and (4) humanitarianism, expressed as the desire to volunteer in future humanitarian health efforts in the United States and abroad.
Our findings suggest that participating in a global health training program helped residents begin to acquire competence in the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene competency domains. Such training also may strengthen residents' acquisition of professional skills, including the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education competencies.
A World Health Organization (WHO)/United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) (2009) joint statement recommended home visits by community-based agents as a strategy to improve newborn survival, based on promising results from Asia. This article presents detailed evaluation of community volunteer assessment and referral implemented within the Ghana Newhints home visits cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT). It highlights the lessons learned to inform implementation/scale-up of this model in similar settings. The evaluation used a conceptual framework adopted for increasing access to care for sick newborns and involves three main steps, each with a specific goal and key requirements to achieving this. These steps are: sick newborns are identified within communities and referred; families comply with referrals and referred babies receive appropriate management at health facilities. Evaluation data included interviews with 4006 recently delivered mothers; records on 759 directly observed volunteer assessments and 52 validation of supervisors’ assessments; newborn care quality assessment in 86 health facilities and in-depth interviews (IDIs) with 55 mothers, 21 volunteers and 15 health professionals. Assessment accuracy of volunteers against supervisors and physician was assessed using Kappa (agreement coefficient). IDIs were analysed by generating and indexing into themes, and exploring relationships between themes and their contextual interpretations. This evaluation demonstrated that identifying, understanding and implementing the key requirements for success in each step of volunteer assessment and referrals was pivotal to success. In Newhints, volunteers (CBSVs) were trusted by families, their visits were acceptable and they engaged mothers/families in decisions, resulting in unprecedented 86% referral compliance and increased (55–77%) care seeking for sick newborns. Poor facility care quality, characterized by poor health worker attitudes, limited the mortality reduction. The important implication for future implementation of home visits in similar settings is that, with 100% specificity but 80% sensitivity of referral decisions, volunteers might miss some danger signs but if successful implementation must translate into mortality reductions, concurrent improvement in facility newborn care quality is imperative.
Assessment and referral; community; implementation; newborns
Including support staff in practice change initiatives is a promising strategy to successfully implement new reproductive health services. The Resident Training Initiative in Miscarriage Management (RTI-MM) is an intervention designed to facilitate implementation of manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) for management of spontaneous abortion. The purpose of this study was to identify training program components that enhanced interprofessional training and provide lessons learned for engaging support staff in implementing uterine evacuation services.
We conducted a secondary analysis of qualitative data to identify themes within three broad areas: interprofessional education, the role of support staff, and RTI-MM program components that facilitated support staff engagement in the process of implementing MVA services.
We identified three key themes around interprofessional training and the role of support staff: “Training together is rare,” “Support staff are crucial to practice change,” and “Transparency, peers and champions.”
We present lessons learned that may be transferrable to other clinic sites: engage site leadership in a commitment to interprofessional training; engage support staff as teachers and learners and in shared values and building professionalism.
This manuscript adds to what is known about how to employ interprofessional education and training to engage support staff in reproductive health services practice change initiatives. Lessons learned may provide guidance to clinical sites interested in interprofessional training, improving service delivery, or implementing new services.
Practice change; Miscarriage; Team training; Implementation; Support staff
The collection of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) draws attention to issues of importance to patients—physical function and quality of life. The integration of PRO data into clinical decisions and discussions with patients requires thoughtful design of user-friendly interfaces that consider user experience and present data in personalized ways to enhance patient care. Whereas most prior work on PROs focuses on capturing data from patients, little research details how to design effective user interfaces that facilitate use of this data in clinical practice. We share lessons learned from engaging health care professionals to inform design of visual dashboards, an emerging type of health information technology (HIT).
We employed human-centered design (HCD) methods to create visual displays of PROs to support patient care and quality improvement. HCD aims to optimize the design of interactive systems through iterative input from representative users who are likely to use the system in the future. Through three major steps, we engaged health care professionals in targeted, iterative design activities to inform the development of a PRO Dashboard that visually displays patient-reported pain and disability outcomes following spine surgery.
Design activities to engage health care administrators, providers, and staff guided our work from design concept to specifications for dashboard implementation. Stakeholder feedback from these health care professionals shaped user interface design features, including predefined overviews that illustrate at-a-glance trends and quarterly snapshots, granular data filters that enable users to dive into detailed PRO analytics, and user-defined views to share and reuse. Feedback also revealed important considerations for quality indicators and privacy-preserving sharing and use of PROs.
Our work illustrates a range of engagement methods guided by human-centered principles and design recommendations for optimizing PRO Dashboards for patient care and quality improvement. Engaging health care professionals as stakeholders is a critical step toward the design of user-friendly HIT that is accepted, usable, and has the potential to enhance quality of care and patient outcomes.
Human-centered design; Human Computer Interaction (HCI); Engagement; Visualization; Health Information Technology; Data Use and Quality; Information display; Formative evaluation; Patient-reported outcomes; Learning Health System; Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR)
Background and Introduction:
Disease registries, as part of electronic health records (EHRs), have shown promise in improving care and outcomes. However, little is known about how best to implement them across communities, especially in communities that are not highly integrated. The Western New York (WNY) primary care community consists largely of independent practices using at least 20 different EHR products. This paper discusses the processes undertaken to develop a communitywide EHR disease registry in WNY, improvements it engendered, barriers overcome, and the lessons learned.
HEALTHeLINK, under the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Beacon Community Initiative, reached out to 98 primary care practices in the WNY region to establish EHR-based diabetes registries. Working with practices, community partners, and vendors, registry specifications were created. The registry was piloted with practices using one local vendor’s EHR product and then rolled out to other practices, including five other EHR products. Using identified and de-identified registry datasets, quality benchmarking within and between practices and population health management were undertaken.
From 2011 to 2013, the WNY Beacon Community assisted 98 practices (344 providers) serving over 50,000 adult diabetic patients. A major focus was on EHR registry development across diverse systems, and overcoming the challenges this presented. The Beacon diabetes registry was implemented at 85 of the 98 targeted practices. Of these registries, 65 met the criteria described in a later section for quality benchmarking and population health management purposes. Practices received quarterly benchmark reports summarizing their performance on key diabetes quality metrics and were compared to community practice averages. Practices used their registries for population health management by identifying and targeting patients in need of follow-up or specific diabetes-related care.
Discussion and Conclusion:
The creation of the registry infrastructure required unified registry technical specifications as well as close collaboration between all parties involved. The WNY experience showed that a useful disease registry can be established in a community largely consisting of numerous disparate primary care practices. This laid the groundwork for the future use of EHR data for a variety of purposes in the community. The methods used and lessons learned through this endeavor may benefit other communities in a similar position, with several disconnected EHRs, to establish unified registries.
Health Information Technology; Platforms; Quality Improvement
Obesity is a major public health issue; however, only limited evidence is available about effective ways to prevent obesity, particularly in early childhood. Romp & Chomp was a community-wide obesity prevention intervention conducted in Geelong Australia with a target group of 12,000 children aged 0-5 years. The intervention had an environmental and capacity building focus and we have recently demonstrated that the prevalence of overweight/obesity was lower in intervention children, post-intervention. Capacity building is defined as the development of knowledge, skills, commitment, structures, systems and leadership to enable effective health promotion and the aim of this study was to determine if the capacity of the Geelong community, represented by key stakeholder organisations, to support healthy eating and physical activity for young children was increased after Romp & Chomp.
A mixed methods evaluation with three data sources was utilised. 1) Document analysis comprised assessment of the documented formative and intervention activities against a capacity building framework (five domains: Partnerships, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Workforce Development, and Organisational Development); 2) Thematic analysis of key informant interviews (n = 16); and 3) the quantitative Community Capacity Index Survey.
Document analysis showed that the majority of the capacity building activities addressed the Partnerships, Resource Allocation and Organisational Development domains of capacity building, with a lack of activity in the Leadership and Workforce Development domains. The thematic analysis revealed the establishment of sustainable partnerships, use of specialist advice, and integration of activities into ongoing formal training for early childhood workers. Complex issues also emerged from the key informant interviews regarding the challenges of limited funding, high staff turnover, changing governance structures, lack of high level leadership and unclear communication strategies. The Community Capacity Index provided further evidence that the project implementation network achieved a moderate level of capacity.
Romp & Chomp increased the capacity of organisations, settings and services in the Geelong community to support healthy eating and physical activity for young children. Despite this success there are important learnings from this mixed methods evaluation that should inform current and future community-based public health and health promotion initiatives.
Trial Registration Number
This paper describes common elements and assessments of persistence programs at 11 Capstone institutions designated by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and complements the resources on our companion website. Together, the paper and website provide detail and synthesize principles informed by our experiences in pursuit of inclusive excellence.
Best-practices pedagogy in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) aims for inclusive excellence that fosters student persistence. This paper describes principles of inclusivity across 11 primarily undergraduate institutions designated as Capstone Awardees in Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s (HHMI) 2012 competition. The Capstones represent a range of institutional missions, student profiles, and geographical locations. Each successfully directed activities toward persistence of STEM students, especially those from traditionally underrepresented groups, through a set of common elements: mentoring programs to build community; research experiences to strengthen scientific skill/identity; attention to quantitative skills; and outreach/bridge programs to broaden the student pool. This paper grounds these program elements in learning theory, emphasizing their essential principles with examples of how they were implemented within institutional contexts. We also describe common assessment approaches that in many cases informed programming and created traction for stakeholder buy-in. The lessons learned from our shared experiences in pursuit of inclusive excellence, including the resources housed on our companion website, can inform others’ efforts to increase access to and persistence in STEM in higher education.