Building Relationships Between Clinical Practices and the Community to Improve Care

Building Relationships Between Clinical Practices and the Community to Improve Care

Introduction

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 and families.

Measuring Clinical-Community Relationships

In 2008 and 2010, AHRQ convened two summits that focused on how linkages between clinical practices and community resources (such as local health departments and community organizations) can enhance the delivery of clinical preventive services. At the 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 relationships.

Experts with knowledge of primary care, community-based organizations, preventive services, and research methods collaborated to develop a CCRM Atlas, CCRM Atlas Supplement and a 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

 

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