Health Assessments in Primary Care

A How-to Guide for Clinicians and Staff

Prepared for:

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Prepared by:

University of Colorado School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, the Colorado Health Outcomes Program, and the Shared Networks of Collaborative Practices and Partners (SNOCAP)

Contract No. HHSA29020071008

Authors:

Douglas H. Fernald, M.A.
Adam G. Tsai, M.D., M.S.C.E.
Betsy Vance, M.P.H.
Katherine A. James, Ph.D., M.S.C.E., M.S.P.H.
Juliana Barnard, M.A.
Elizabeth W. Staton, M.S.T.C.
Wilson D. Pace, M.D.
David R. West, Ph.D.

Contents

Introduction
Section 1. How Ready is Your Practice to Implement a New Health Assessment?
Section 2. How Does Your Practice Choose an Assessment?
Section 3. How Do You Work Health Assessments into Your Office Workflow?
Section 4. How Do You Use the Health Assessment Information You Collect?
Section 5. How Do You Activate and Engage Patients in Using Their Health Assessment Information?
Section 6. How Does Your Practice Sustain Health Assessments?
Appendixes
Appendix 1:  Background on Health Assessments in Primary Care
Appendix 2:  Health Assessment Case Study
Appendix 3:  Health Assessments for Adults
Appendix 4:  Adult Health Assessment Sample Questions
Appendix 5:  Assessments for Children
Appendix 6:  Assessments for Adolescents
Appendix 7:  Health Assessments for Seniors
Appendix 8:  Crosswalk of Health Assessments Related to Incentive and Quality Programs
Appendix 9:  Tools for Making Changes in Your Practice
Appendix 10:  Health Assessment Information for Patients
Appendix 11:  Patient Feedback Survey Example
References

Disclaimer

This toolkit is based on research conducted by SNOCAP-USA under contract to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Rockville, MD (Contract No. HHSA29020071008). The findings and conclusions in this document are those of the authors, who are responsible for its content, and do not necessarily represent the views of AHRQ. No statement in this report should be construed as an official position of AHRQ or of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  

The information in this report is intended to help clinicians, employers, policymakers, and others make informed decisions about the provision of health care services. This report is intended as a reference and not as a substitute for clinical judgment.

Public Domain Notice

This document is in the public domain and may be used and reprinted without permission.

Acknowledgements

SNOCAP-USA is grateful to the primary care practices that participated in the pilot project and freely shared their experiences so that future practices could learn. We wish to extend our thanks to each practice for their hard work and effort, as well as their willingness to participate in the evaluation:  

  • Belmar Family Medicine.
  • Emory Family Medicine.
  • Exempla Capitol Hill Internal Medicine.
  • Exempla Green Mountain Family Medicine.
  • Exempla Oasis Family Medicine.
  • Family Care Medical Center.
  • Foothills Family Medicine.
  • Rocky Ford Family Health, LLC.
  • Sheridan Health Services.
  • University of Colorado Family Medicine,  Park Meadows.
  • Walsh Medical Clinic.

We also thank the practice-based research networks—and their clinicians and staff—including Building InvestiGative practices for better Health Outcomes Research Network (BIGHORN), the Colorado Research Network (CaReNet), the High Plains Research Network (HPRN), and the American Academy of Family Physicians National Research Network (AAFP NRN). We extend special thanks to Richard Ricciardi, Ph.D., N.P., who provided outstanding support, direction, and feedback throughout this guide's development and production.

Page last reviewed September 2013
Internet Citation: Health Assessments in Primary Care: A How-to Guide for Clinicians and Staff. September 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/prevention-chronic-care/improve/system/health-assessments/index.html