AHS Recognized as a National Model of Innovative Primary Care Practice

Princeton, N.J.—Following a rigorous nationwide review process, 30 primary care practices have been selected as exemplary models of workforce innovation and will form the basis for a new project: The Primary Care Team: Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices (LEAP). The LEAP project, a joint initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at Group Health Research Institute, will study the 30 practices in depth to document practice innovations that make primary care more efficient, effective, and satisfying to patients and providers.

“The nation will not be able to train new primary care providers quickly enough to meet the needs of our country’s health system, so part of the solution must be to use the workforce we have more effectively,” said John Lumpkin, MD, MPH, RWJF senior vice president and director of RWJF’s Health Care Group.

“With millions more Americans about to enter the health care system, primary care must become more efficient and effective. Building high-performing care teams is a key step,” said Ed Wagner, MD, MPH, co-director of the LEAP project and director emeritus of the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation.

The 30 practices selected represent a variety of settings, practice configurations, sizes, and locations and include private practices, large health systems, and community health centers across the country. They represent 20 states, and settings as varied as rural Colorado, inner-city New York, and Washington, D.C. A LEAP team is currently conducting three-day site visits to each of the 30 practices to better understand how each delivers high-quality, patient-centered primary health care. Site visits will continue through autumn 2013. The exemplar practices will then join together in a learning community to share best practices and distill their innovations into training and technical assistance materials that can be used by others across the United States.

“Now more than ever, the country recognizes that a great health care system has to build on a strong primary care foundation. We are seeing innovation all over the country, particularly in the area of primary care, but there has been little study of how practices have redefined traditional roles and built a team approach to caring for patients,” commented Margaret Flinter, PhD, APRN, LEAP project co-director, senior vice president and clinical director of the Community Health Center, Inc., and director of its Weitzman Center for Innovation. “We are very excited to have the opportunity to study these innovations that improve patient and practice outcomes, and to develop a strategy to replicate them nationally.”

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