"Most inspiring for me was seeing participants become inspired and enthusiastic about tools and topics I presented. I was able to see a twinkle in the eyes of clinicians who felt reinvigorated and energized about their passion: providing quality primary care to patients while enjoying themselves."
Having worked with CIPCI for two and a half years, I consider myself relatively aware of the current climate in primary care. I helped with the inaugural implementation of the Primary Care Office of the Future exhibit in May 2014, and thus I was able to see some of the workflows, tools, and technology that will be utilized by primary care teams in the near future. However, presenting at the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) Conference on Practice Improvement was an entirely new and unique experience for me.
Recently, the CIPCI Team visited an historic Hartford landmark, the Isham-Terry House. Our team hoped to learn a bit about one “Primary Care Office of the Past” as a complement to our work on the Primary Care Office of the Future.
I've often said that the best way to ensure the failure of pretty much anything meant to help patients is to have extremely smart, well intentioned professionals – administrators, consultants, educators, entrepreneurs, marketers, payers, providers and/or researchers – build it without talking, and listening, to patients at every step along the way.
What is innovation? There are many answers to that question, not all of them helpful. It’s more than a new idea, process or tool. It’s more than improvement, more than being creative, and more than commercialization.
Process mapping is a major part of our work on the Anatomy and Physiology of Primary Care – it gives an immediate visual sense of the steps involved in care as well as the people involved in each step. The process maps also allow us to document three different aspects of visit time, which we characterize as value-added (or not) from the patient perspective: Value-Added, Essential Non-Value-Added, and Non-Value-Added.
Clearly understanding how the structure of primary care practices affect their function – what we term the anatomy and physiology of primary care – is a logical foundation for any transformation effort.
Leading in healthcare today is like standing in two canoes, one for each foot, with the canoes heading in opposite directions. One boat, with a setting based on the assumption of more is better, heads in the direction of more healthcare. The other, with a new setting, heads toward better healthcare.
I am about to begin medical school after working for over a year as a research assistant at CIPCI. Before coming to CIPCI, my view of the healthcare system didn’t extend far beyond calling it complicated, specialized, and expensive. True, but oversimplified.
We know that we don’t have enough primary care physicians and that insufficient numbers of medical students and residents are choosing primary care careers. If we care about the health of populations and the unsustainable costs of healthcare, we have to change these trends quickly and increase the number of primary care physicians.
“The Four Pillars for Primary Care” provides consistent language to help all of us advocate for the changes that are needed to develop an appropriate physician workforce.