How Practice Facilitation Strategies Differ by Practice Context

Ann M. Nguyen, Allison Cuthel, Deborah K. Padgett, Paulomi Niles, Erin Rogers, Hang Pham-Singer, Diane Ferran, Sue A. Kaplan, Carolyn Berry, Donna Shelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Practice facilitation is an implementation strategy used to build practice capacity and support practice changes to improve health care outcomes. Yet, few studies have investigated how practice facilitation strategies are tailored to different primary care contexts. Objective: To identify contextual factors that drive facilitators’ strategies to meet practice improvement goals, and how these strategies are tailored to practice context. Design: Semi-structured, qualitative interviews analyzed using inductive (open coding) and deductive (thematic) approaches. This study was conducted as part of a larger study, HealthyHearts New York City, which evaluated the impact of practice facilitation on adoption of cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment guidelines. Participants: 15 facilitators working in two practice contexts: small independent practices (SIPs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). Main Measures: Strategies facilitators use to support and promote practice changes and contextual factors that impact this approach. Key Results: Contextual factors were described similarly across settings and included the policy environment, patient needs, site characteristics, leadership engagement, and competing priorities. We identified four facilitation strategies used to tailor to contextual factors and support practice change: (a) remain flexible to align with practice and organizational priorities; (b) build relationships; (c) provide value through information technology expertise; and (d) build capacity and create efficiencies. Facilitators in SIPs and FQHCs described using the same strategies, often in combination, but tailored to their specific contexts. Conclusions: Despite significant infrastructure and resource differences between SIPs and FQHCs, the contextual factors that influenced the facilitator’s change process and the strategies used to address those factors were remarkably similar. The findings emphasize that facilitators require multidisciplinary skills to support sustainable practice improvement in the context of varying complex health care delivery settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)824-831
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Keywords

  • implementation
  • practice facilitation
  • qualitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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