As part of its mission to improve health care, from primary prevention to chronic
care management, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is exploring
how to develop, strengthen, and sustain relationships among primary care practices,
the community, and public health organizations in order to meet the needs of patients
Measuring Clinical-Community Relationships
In 2008 and 2010, AHRQ convened two summits that focused on how linkages between
clinical practices and community organizations (such as local health departments
and community organizations) can enhance the delivery of clinical preventive services.
2010 Summit, stakeholders identified strategies to support local efforts
to develop such linkages, and recommended the development of metrics to support
related research. In 2011, AHRQ launched the Clinical-Community Relationships Measures
(CCRM) project, a collaborative effort to explore how to define, measure, and evaluate
programs that support the delivery of clinical preventive services through clinical-community
Experts with knowledge of primary care, community-based organizations, preventive services,
and research methods collaborated to develop a CCRM Atlas and Clinical-Community Relationships Evaluation Roadmap.
The tools are intended for researchers studying clinical-community relationships, individuals seeking to evaluate
related interventions or demonstration projects, and primary care clinicians and community organizations that provide preventive services.
"Researchers assessing links between primary care and community resources have struggled
with a lack of information about how to design the evaluation process. The CCRM
Atlas offers researchers a conceptual framework they can use to select measures
that accurately reflect changes brought about through clinical-community relationships."
—Cheryl Aspy, MEd, PhD, Professor and Associate Director of the Research Division,
Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
"Clinical-community partnerships play a critical role in delivering preventive services
and population-based support for improved health behaviors. The CCRM Atlas is a
novel and much-needed resource that helps researchers gain clarity about how to
evaluate clinical-community relationships and design projects that target areas
in need of growth."
—Rebecca Etz, PhD, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth
University, and Co-Director, Ambulatory Care Outcomes Research Network