Sg2 Strategic Countdown: Reengineering Primary Care
Primary care, a longstanding strategic priority for hospitals, continues to gain importance as demand increases, new payment models accelerate and emphasis on quality intensifies. How will your organization reengineer primary care delivery to do more—and do better—in the face of provider supply challenges, growing focus on outcomes and rising patient expectations? Sg2 offers the following five strategies:
- Embrace a system-wide, long-haul, cost-benefit perspective. Primary care will likely exert its greatest influence on long-term quality and value goals—decreasing avoidable admissions and ED visits, reducing costs and unnecessary care, and enhancing wellness and prevention. These results may lead to a short-term dip in revenues while laying essential groundwork for future success.
- Adopt team-based primary care models. Establish and empower teams to expand roles, increase capacity and deepen collaboration among physicians, advanced practitioners, pharmacists, care coordinators, medical assistants and other team members. Transition to compensation strategies that move beyond volumes to include a variable component encompassing evidence-based clinical metrics, patient satisfaction and contribution to teamwork.
- Enable care coordination and disease management as core functions of the primary care team. Effectively channel resources by developing patient registries for key conditions and tiering patients according to complexity and risk. Bridge gaps in the System of CARE by ensuring smooth and timely flow of information across sites and providers.
- Deconstruct the traditional 15-minute, face-to-face visit. Broaden access by extending office hours and providing alternatives to 15-minute appointments booked long in advance. Options include open-access, real-time scheduling and carve-out commitment of same-day time blocks. Enhance efficiency and patient experience by offering virtual care, shared medical appointments and robust patient education and self-care resources.
- Optimize the primary care environment to enhance teamwork, efficiency and patient comfort. Configure new or existing space to maximize connectivity—among the primary care team, across the system, and among patients and providers. Facilitate flexibility with modular construction approaches and “plug and play” technology and equipment. Separate patient areas both visually and spatially from professional work areas, supply stations and circulation paths.