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This toolkit describes a project developed to explore how clinic communities can work together to monitor and improve primary care. It is based on a belief that improvements are best made and understood when all members of a community work together.

You might find this toolkit helpful if you:

  • Support practice change in clinics from the health system level

  • Work at a health plan that works with clinics

  • Work at a city, county, or state office that works with clinics

  • Work at a primary care clinic

  • Attend a primary care clinic, feel frustrated by some of your experiences and want to participate in improvement

  • Lead practice improvement efforts at clinics

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  • Two versions of a survey developed to monitor the quality of primary care clinics from the perspective of patients and providers/staff.

  • Tips for clinic communities thinking of using these surveys (or other surveys) to support clinic improvement

  • Ideas about how to build and use entire clinic communities to improve health care

Members of a clinic community

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A health clinic is a form of community. Providers and staff have working relationships with each other and with patients. Patients also develop relationships with everyone: the front desk staff, lab techs, nurses, providers, and more. Some patients serve in leadership positions within the clinic or health system to work on various projects. Some clinics have deep involvement with their surrounding neighborhoods and the people, businesses, and organizations who live and work nearby. Most clinics have various interactions with health systems, insurance plans, and local and state health departments.

Note: Some parts of this toolkit refer to changes in how we pay for health care. In the U.S. and some other countries, efforts at “payment reform” attempt to restructure how we pay for health care to better achieve (higher quality) health for patients and populations.

How is this related to PlanDoStudyAct?

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You may be familiar with the Plan → Do → Study → Act (PDSA) model of quality improvement. This toolkit is not meant to replace this model. Instead, this toolkit can be used to help you identify the needs within your clinic community and may help monitor progress over time toward these needs.

For more information on the PDSA model, please see the following resources:

Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Please fill out the form below to download our toolkit and get access to a digital version of our paper survey.

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