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Partnership to Look at Primary Care Practice Efficiency

March 7, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), a Princeton, N.J. based non-profit health organization, is teaming with the Group Health Research Institute on a national program designed to identify creative practices that make primary care practices more efficient and effective. The project, called The Primary Care Team: Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices (the LEAP Project),will aim to PCPs that use health professionals and other staff in ways that maximize access to their services.

The ultimate goal will be to replicate these workforce models can be replicated and adopted more widely.  The program will aim to identify changes in policy, workforce, culture, education and training related to primary care that can improve the way practices function. RWJF and Group Health Research Institute will look at 30 high-functioning primary care practices to learn about high-end staffing arrangements that maximize the contributions of health professionals and other staff.

Directing the project are Ed Wagner, MD, and Margaret Flinter, PhD. The MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle will serve as its national program office. 

 “The nation will not be able to train new primary care providers quickly enough to meet the need, so part of the solution must be to use the workforce we have more effectively.  This new program will identify ways to do that,” John Lumpkin, MD, senior vice president and director of the Health Care Group, said in a statement.

A National Advisory Committee, chaired by Thomas S. Bodenheimer, MD, MPH, adjunct professor at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, will develop and apply the criteria for selecting the exemplary primary care practices, which will represent a variety of settings, practice configurations and locations. A research team will conduct site visits and then the sites will join together in a learning community to share best practices and to help distill their innovations into a toolkit that can be used by others.

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