Authors Discuss the Impact of the Primary Care Capacity Project
At JPHMP, our mission is to advance and disseminate impactful, practice-based evidence to inform initiatives and policies to improve population health. The public health researchers, academics, policy makers, and practitioners who contribute content to the journal support this mission and strive to improve public health for all communities through their research.
We sat down with Heather Farb, MPH, and Jamie Giepert, PMP, at the Louisiana Public Health Institute to discuss the Primary Care Capacity Project, an important component of the Gulf Region Health Outreach Program (GRHOP), which is featured in a special supplement of Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.
JPHMP Direct: Why is it important for health care organizations to expand their traditional role of clinical service provider and embrace the role of community partner and change agent? How does it create value for the health care organization?
Farb/Giepert: In order to advance improvements in population health outcomes, health care organizations can be stepping outside of facility walls to engage with partners and address their community environments. In doing so, they can build more trusting relationships with their communities, identify unknown barriers in accessing care that may reshape their role as a provider, and increase satisfaction among health care professionals who may not otherwise have the opportunity to address social determinants that influence their patients’ health. The Community-Centered Health Homes model offers strategies in operationalizing this concept within and outside of clinic walls.
JPHMP Direct: How does using data and technology improve patient navigation efforts within the primary care setting as well as prepare clinics for the shift from volume-based care to value-based?
Farb/Giepert: As part of the Greater New Orleans PCCP Quality Incentive Initiative (GNOPQii), LPHI provided a suite of support services to primary care providers including real-time alerts via the Greater New Orleans Health Information Exchange (GNOHIE) when their patients were admitted and discharged from the emergency department or inpatient services of local hospitals. Real time notifications with information about why the patient accessed care and what happened during their stay are critical to supporting care coordination and successful transitions of care. In addition to the alerts, LPHI leveraged the unique analytical capability of the GNOHIE to provide actionable reports outlining the patients accessing the emergency departments and inpatient hospital services on a frequent basis. These types of analytic tools can assist with risk stratification efforts and can help providers identify and address barriers to seeking preventative and primary care.
JPHMP Direct: Why were qualitative methods and methodologies specifically chosen and utilized as part of PCCP’s formative, implementation, and summative evaluation? What were some of the unanticipated benefits for participating health centers and community stakeholders?
Farb/Giepert: PCCP utilized a mixed-methods project evaluation framework to inform project priorities, to better understand the experiences and needs of the community and clinic, and to contribute to ongoing quality improvement initiatives by documenting the impacts of PCCP on clinical transformation efforts. The participatory nature of the different qualitative methods created opportunity for peer exchange, data sharing, and data-informed action that greatly benefitted communities and clinic providers.
JPHMP Direct: PCCP utilized a variety of stakeholder engagement strategies early on in project design and implementation. How did these strategies contribute to lasting community benefit?
Farb/Giepert: The PCCP team employed engagement strategies such as key informant meetings, peer-to-peer regional learning exchange, collaborative state partnerships, and dyadic interviewing, which contributed to achieving the objectives of PCCP in maximizing the sustainability of quality health services. These strategies helped the team in better
understanding the authentic community voice, which informed LPHI’s tailored approach to project design, investment and capacity-building strategies, and sustainability planning. Building strong partnerships with a diverse group of stakeholders early on and throughout the project life cycle provided a unique perspective and knowledge transfer among partners, resulting in legacy benefit.
Read the full issue of our special supplement highlighting the work of the Gulf Region Health Outreach Program (GRHOP).
About the Authors
Heather Farb, MPH, is an Evaluation Manager at the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI). At LPHI, Heather leads the qualitative evaluation of the Primary Care Capacity Project (PCCP), and has also managed a number of research and evaluation projects involving health impact assessment, community health needs assessment, behavioral health integration, and patient-centered outcomes research.
Jamie Giepert, PMP, is a Senior Program Manager at the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI). At LPHI, Jamie provides overall project management for design and implementation of the Primary Care Capacity Project and guides business development initiatives for the organization.