Practice facilitation is an approach to supporting improvement in primary care practices that focuses on building organizational capacity for continuous improvement. Practice facilitators are specially trained individuals who work with primary care practices to make meaningful changes designed to improve patients’ outcomes. Practice facilitation is a central and unifying strategy in the EvidenceNOW Model.
Practice Facilitation Benefits
AHRQ’s initiative EvidenceNOW: Advancing Heart Health identified several benefits to the use of practice facilitators for quality improvement. Practice facilitation can:
- Increase practices’ capacity to implement the best clinical evidence.
- Connect practices to information, resources, and strategies to improve care.
- Help practices overcome EHR challenges and optimize their EHR for meeting quality improvement goals.
- Help practices harness patient and practice data to identify gaps in care and effects of improvement activities.
- Help mitigate the impact of major disruptions (staff turnover, changing EHRs, clinician loss, etc.) on the practice.
- Link practices to community resources that can be used by patients and clinicians to support care plans.
Practice Facilitation Resources
AHRQ has created a variety of practice facilitation resources that describe exemplary practice facilitation programs, guide program development, train practice facilitators, and advise on their deployment. Facilitators can make use of the EvidenceNOW Tools for Change, a curated collection of more than 100 tools and resources that can help primary care practices in their efforts to improve quality by providing evidence-based care to their patients.
Lessons Learned about Practice Facilitation
EvidenceNOW: Advancing Heart Health grantees published their findings on the role of practice facilitation working with primary care practices and the lessons learned.