Learning Session Offers Strategies for Achieving High-Value Care

Published on October 6, 2016 by
brain game learning session

Practice teams use a brain architecture game to build cooperative skills at the Sept. 29 Learning Session.

How do we deliver high-value primary care in Maine? How do we manage change? How do we nurture teams and make the best use of team members’ skills? These were the central questions that 350 primary care providers and practice staff members considered at last week’s Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) – Health Home – Community Care Team Learning Session in Augusta. Organized by Maine Quality Counts, the Learning Session was the last in a series of sessions held over the last three years as part of the Maine State Innovation Model (SIM) initiative. SIM’s goal is to make progress toward achieving “The Triple Aim” in Maine: improving patient experience, reducing health care cost and ensuring that the health care system addresses the health of populations, not just individuals.

The Learning Session kicked off with a short video that addressed a popular strategy for improving patient experience that can be both effective and difficult to pull off: maintaining an active Patient and Family Advisory Council. The video, featuring a member of Dexter Family Practice’s Council, explored how consistent and close communication between practice staff and council members led to Dexter’s Council making important contributions to the practice while also representing patients’ needs and concerns. Watch the video here:

Like the video, good communication was a major theme of the morning keynote presentation. Stanford’s Melora Simon, MPH and University of Rochester’s John Chamberlain, MD shared their research into what primary care practices can do to deliver high value care. They discovered that a top approach of successful primary care practices was carving out the time to build and sustain long-term clinical relationships with patients. That can be a challenge in today’s fee-for-service heath care environment, they conceded, but will likely be better supported as the shift toward value-based care accelerates.

Breakout sessions offered specific strategies for higher value care. Presenters tackled  a wide variety of topics, all linked by their importance to achieving the Triple Aim, like diabetes care, behavioral and physical health care integration, office workflows , delegation to Medical Assistants and forging partnerships with community members.

Through it all, learning session participants continually brought the discussion back to the key questions. How do we deliver high value care? How do we manage change? How do we build strong teams? And they found some answers. High value care is dependent on strong provider-patient relationships. Successful change management requires a willingness to take risks. Strong teams value the actual and potential contributions of every single member.

Now, after the learning session has ended, the exciting work begins:  bringing these and other lessons back to the practices and applying them to the ongoing mission of improving patient experience, reducing cost and addressing population health all in the service of higher value, more patient-centered care.

To see the learning session agenda and access presentation materials, please visit the Maine Quality Counts website.


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