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Outcomes-Based Data Drive Practice Transformation
Evolving processes to improve quality care and performance is the key to primary care success

THURSDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers in North Carolina have developed an enhanced model for the natural history of practice transformation that emphasizes using outcomes-based data to sustain robust long-term improvements and success in primary care settings; the research has been published in the May/June issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Katrina E. Donahue, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues developed and tested an outcomes-based transformation model of primary care practice and evaluated factors essential to meeting quality clinical measures and financial goals in an evolving health reform climate.

Using the North Carolina Improving Performance In Practice model, researchers identified three emerging patterns over a two-year period, the most robust being transformed practices leading to broad-based improvements, followed by activated practices with moderate changes, and engaged practices with minimal change in measured quality. The 18 participating practices all had highly engaged leadership and used data to drive decisions, but many had competing distractions or technology barriers that interfered with transformation efforts.

"Practice transformation is a continuous and long-term process," the authors write. "Internal and external practice motivations and specific practice supports provided by a community-based quality improvement program appear to have an impact on engagement, rate of quality improvement, and long-term sustainability. Early successes play a key role as practices learn how to change their performance."

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April 20, 2014

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