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ARTICLE |

Helping Practices Reach Primary Care Goals:  Lessons From the Literature

Elizabeth M. Yano, MSPH; Arlene Fink, PhD; Susan H. Hirsch, MPH; Alan S. Robbins, MD; Lisa V. Rubenstein, MD, MSPH
Arch Intern Med. 1995;155(11):1146-1156. doi:10.1001/archinte.1995.00430110051006.
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We reviewed rigorous evaluations of programs to enhance the quality and economy of primary care. We identified 36 evaluations published from 1980 through 1992. We abstracted data on objectives, setting(s), patients and processes, outcomes, and costs of care. We identified successful programs, as well as significant gaps in our knowledge of how to improve aspects of care. In specific, computer reminders and social influence—based methods fostered preventive and economic care. Nurse implementation of prevention protocols increased their performance. Multidisciplinary teams improved access and economy. Regional organization of practices or telephone management improved access; regionalization also reduced emergency care. Improvements were not found in continuity, comprehensiveness, humanistic process, physical environment, or health outcomes. Primary care practices can implement several programs to continuously improve prevention and access, and to reduce costs and use of unnecessary services. Research documenting how to accomplish other major goals, including health outcome changes, in different practice types is needed.

(Arch Intern Med. 1995;155:1146-1156)

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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