Facilitating Improvement in Primary Care: The Promise of Practice Coaching

June 11, 2012

Authors: Kevin Grumbach, M.D., Emma Bainbridge, and Thomas Bodenheimer, M.D.
Contact: Kevin Grumbach, M.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine kgrumbach@fcm.ucsf.edu
Editor: Chris Hollander



Practice coaching, also called practice facilitation, assists physician practices with the desire to improve in such areas as patient access, chronic and preventive care, electronic medical record use, patient-centeredness, cultural competence, and team-building. This issue brief clarifies the essential features of practice coaching and offers guidance for health system leaders, public and private insurers, and federal and state policymakers on how best to structure and design these programs in primary care settings. Good-quality evidence demonstrates that practice coaching is effective. The authors argue that primary care delivery in the United States would benefit from a more systematic approach to the training and deployment of primary care practice coaches.


K. Grumbach, E. Bainbridge, and T. Bodenheimer, Facilitating Improvement in Primary Care: The Promise of Practice Coaching, The Commonwealth Fund, June 2012.