Practice Facilitation Handbook

Table 1.1 Practice facilitator activities

Table of Contents

Topic Activities

Creating infrastructure for continuous improvement

  • Form and manage an external facilitation team with expertise tailored to practice needs
  • Form or optimize a central QI team for the organization or practice
  • Ensure diverse membership on the QI team or specific project teams
  • Help teams create or update QI plans
  • Help teams develop performance monitoring systems
  • Help teams use performance data to set improvement goals and monitor progress

Building skills in leadership and QI teams that support continuous improvement

  • Provide executive coaching to leadership in change management, human factors, conflict resolution, and project management
  • Build priority for change in practice and leadership using data, academic detailing and social learning, introduction to new ideas, and best evidence
  • Train staff on QI approaches and methods (e.g., Model for Improvement, small tests of change, workflow mapping, benchmarking, chart reviews, audit and feedback)
  • Train team on concept of data-driven improvement and data collection and management
  • Teach skills for running effective QI meetings
  • Teach skills for encouraging culture of continuous QI in organization

Managing projects

  • Provide project and change management support, and build capacity for the same in practice
  • Set up and use collaboration software for change process management
  • Support accountability for action items and follow-through on improvement plans
  • Help practice coordinate, integrate, and realize synergies in all improvement work occurring across the organization

Assessing organizations

  • Assess organizational/practice readiness for capacity building and improvement work
  • Conduct initial assessment of practice’s core systems (administrative, clinical, health IT, data, and human resources) using an assets-based approach (i.e., identify both strengths and weaknesses)
  • Collect data from multiple sources, including surveys, paper records, registries, and electronic health records
  • Implement report generators and other systems that create capacity for routine performance reporting and train staff to maintain and expand these processes

Optimizing health IT for performance monitoring and population management

  • Help practice interact with health IT vendors
  • Help practice engage expert consultants in health IT as needed
  • Share best practices in use of particular electronic health record (EHR) products from other practices as appropriate
  • Help practice structure EHR to maximize population management capacity
  • Set up registry tracks and create workflows for maintaining registries
  • Identify and correct data errors in EHR and registry
  • Set up connections between labs and EHRs, standalone registries and EHRs, and other relevant IT platforms and products
  • Help staff set up and manage templates and point-of-care decision support
  • Train staff to optimize EHR functions to enhance care team communication (e.g., tasking)
  • Train staff to create and generate performance reports for QI
Supporting implementation of targeted changes and improvements
  • Train practice in new service models such as PCMH or the Care Model, processes, treatments, and best practices and their benefits. For example, provide training on:
    • Team-based care
    • Empanelment and panel management
    • Planned care
    • Action plans with patients
    • Self-management support
    • Care coordination
    • Other related topics
  • Engage external experts as needed to provide peer-to-peer and expert training to practice on new models of care, treatments, and other targeted improvements
Identifying and spreading exemplar practices
  • Document exemplars and best practices and share with program and facilitation community
Identifying and communicating system-level barriers to improvement
  • Document system-level barriers to improvement and communicate to program, funders, policymakers, and health care community
Performing administrative tasks and maintaining professionalism
  • Comply with privacy rules
  • Maintain appropriate documentation of work with practices and monitor practice progress
  • Maintain appropriate documentation of project/funder-related work and monitor progress toward deliverables
  • Participate in supervision and group learning with other facilitators
  • Participate in continuous education
  • Form and manage your external facilitation team for each site
  • Manage time effectively
  • Evaluate effectiveness and quality of your work with your practices

Return to Document

Page last reviewed May 2013
Page originally created May 2013
Internet Citation: Table 1.1 Practice facilitator activities. Content last reviewed May 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.