Improving Primary Care: The Promise of Practice Coaching

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<p>Primary care in the United States faces serious challenges, including a growing demand for care and a decreasing supply of physicians. In an innovation known as practice coaching—also called practice facilitation—professionals work with primary care sites to support office redesign and practice transformation. Practice coaching can help primary care practices make improvements in areas such as patient access, quality of care, and use of electronic medical records, among others. </p><p>A new <a href="/publications/issue-briefs/2012/jun/facilitating-improvement-primary-care-promise-practice-coaching">Commonwealth Fund issue brief</a> outlines the history and clarifies the main features of practice coaching, offering evidence that it is effective in improving care for patients. Authors Kevin Grumbach, at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, and colleagues argue that a broad redesign of primary care practice is unlikely to occur without an investment in practice coaching, and offer guidance to health system leaders and policymakers working to help primary care sites transform into patient-centered medical homes. </p>