Most Americans get their health care in small physician practices. Yet, small practice settings are often unable to provide the same range of services or participate in quality improvement initiatives as large practices because they lack the staff, information technology, and office systems. One promising strategy is to share clinical support services and information systems with other practices. New findings from the 2009 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Primary Care Physicians suggest smaller practices that share resources are more likely than those without shared resources to have advanced electronic medical records and health information technology, routinely track and manage patient information, have after-hours care arrangements, and engage in quality monitoring and benchmarking. This issue brief highlights strategies that can increase resources among small- and medium-sized practices and efforts supported by states, the private sector, and the Affordable Care Act that encourage the expansion of shared-resource models.
Sharing Resources: Opportunities for Smaller Primary Care Practices to Increase Their Capacity for Patient Care
A.-K. Fryer, M. M. Doty, and A.-M. J. Audet, Sharing Resources: Opportunities for Smaller Primary Care Practices to Increase Their Capacity for Patient Care, The Commonwealth Fund, March 2011.