Clinical-Community Relationships Evaluation Roadmap

3. Conclusion

Although establishing relationships between primary care clinics/clinicians and community resources is a promising approach for improving the delivery of clinical preventive services, the existing body of evidence as to the effectiveness of this approach is sparse and heterogeneous. Similarly, the number of studies using existing measures for research or evaluation of clinical-community resource relationships is sparse. Substantial research is needed to better understand the potential benefit of clinical-community resource relationships for improving preventive care for patients.

This Evaluation Roadmap is intended as a guide for future research and evaluation into the effectiveness of clinical-community resource relationships for the provision of clinical preventive services. The Roadmap is rooted in a conceptual framework of various factors that may influence the effectiveness of connecting patients in primary care clinics with community resources for the receipt of preventive services. The priority questions and recommendations for advancing research and developing measures are based on a targeted literature review of research, an assessment of evidence gaps, an environmental scan of measures, and expert opinion. The priority questions and recommendations were considered to be broadly applicable across multiple different clinical preventive services, and not merely relevant to only a single service.

As a general conceptual guide for future research in a field that is relatively underdeveloped, the Roadmap is meant to provide direction for next steps, rather than a definitive vision of the ultimate research and measurement goals. It is hoped and expected that, as the field advances, more specific and well-defined evidence gaps will become apparent, and with those gaps, the associated research and measurement needs will become clear and more specific.

Page last reviewed July 2013
Internet Citation: 3. Conclusion. Content last reviewed July 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.