Practical Tools for Primary Care Practice

AHRQ partners with practicing clinicians to develop practical tools that can help primary care providers and other ambulatory clinicians and allied professionals to implement practice improvements and evidence-based approaches. These materials include toolkits with practical “how-to” information and tools on practice improvement as well as easily searchable libraries of guidelines and patient education materials.

For Clinicians in Primary Care Practice

Tools & Toolkits

Practice Guidelines and Consumer Education

For Practice-Improvement Organizations and Learning Communities 

Clearinghouses

  • National Guidelines Clearinghouse (NGC): The NGC's mission is to provide physicians and other health professionals a tool for obtaining objective, detailed information on clinical practice guidelines and to further their dissemination, implementation, and use.
     
  • National Quality Measures Clearinghouse (NQMC): The NQMC's mission is to provide detailed information on evidence-based healthcare quality measures, and to further their dissemination, implementation, and to inform health care decisions.

Tools & Guides

Practice Facilitation

  • Primary Care Practice Facilitation Curriculum: This curriculum is designed to train new practice facilitators (also known as practice coaches, quality improvement coaches, or practice enhancement assistants) as they learn how to support meaningful improvement in primary care practices, using an evidence-based approach to quality improvement.
     
  • A How-To Guide on Developing and Running a Practice Facilitation Program: This guide is for organizations starting a practice facilitation program with primary care practices on quality improvement activities, with an emphasis on primary care redesign and transformation.

Quality Improvement

Health Literacy

Patient Experience & Satisfaction

  • Clinician and Group Survey of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems: This survey assesses both adult and pediatric patients' experiences with health care providers and staff in doctors' offices. Survey results can be used to improve care provided by individual providers, sites of care, medical groups, or provider networks and to equip consumers with information to choose physicians and other health care providers, physician practices, or medical groups. Users can also add supplemental items to customize their questionnaires.

Health IT & Workflow

For Primary Care Researchers & Evaluators

Tools & Guides

Patient-Centered Medical Home & Primary Care Transformation

Clearinghouses & Data Collection

Quality Measurement

  • National Quality Measures Clearinghouse: The NQMC's mission is to provide detailed information on evidence-based health care quality measures, and to further their dissemination, implementation, and use in order to inform health care decisions.
     
  • Primary Care Measures: Resources for Research and Evaluation: This searchable databases lets users explore frameworks for measurement, and identify and compare measures within four areas that are critical to primary care improvement: Care Coordination, Clinical-Community Relationships, Team-Based Care, and Integrated Behavioral Health Care.
     
  • Care Coordination Measures Database/Atlas: This database provides comprehensive profiles of existing measures of care coordination, organizes those measures along two dimensions (domain and perspective), and presents a framework for understanding care coordination measurement, to which the measures are mapped. Database users can compare more than 90 validated care coordination measurement tools to identify and select those that are most appropriate for their research and evaluation needs.

Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care

Patient Experience

  • Clinician and Group Survey of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems: This survey assesses both adult and pediatric patients' experiences with health care providers and staff in doctors' offices. Survey results can be used to improve care provided by individual providers, sites of care, medical groups, or provider networks and to equip consumers with information to choose physicians and other health care providers, physician practices, or medical groups. Users can also add supplemental items to customize their questionnaires.

Guidelines

  • National Guidelines Clearinghouse (NGC): The NGC's mission is to provide physicians and other health professionals a tool for obtaining objective, detailed information on clinical practice guidelines and to further their dissemination, implementation, and use.

Research

  • Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs): are “laboratories” for conducting primary care research. They draw on practicing clinicians’ experience and insight to identify and frame research questions whose answers can improve the practice of primary care. By linking these questions with rigorous research methods, Practice-Based Research Networks  produce research findings that are immediately relevant to the clinician and, in theory, more easily assimilated into everyday practice.
Page last reviewed November 2016
Page originally created November 2016
Internet Citation: Practical Tools for Primary Care Practice. Content last reviewed November 2016. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/systems/primary-care/practical-tools-for-primary-care-practice.html
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