The Bottom Line: Use Of Quality Improvement Strategies Among Small To Medium-Size US Primary Care Practices

Bijal Balasubramanian, MBBS, PhD, Quantitative Team Lead, ESCALATES


In order to survive, primary care practices need to meet increasing payer, patient, and policymaker demands for higher quality. To do so, practices need to use many quality improvement (QI) strategies like creating processes to make it easier to deliver care. However, little is known about what practice characteristics (e.g. clinician vs health system owned) are associated with use of those strategies.

Useful Findings

Practices that use many improvement strategies are more likely to:

  • Be independently owned by clinicians, have adequate QI support, and experience fewer major disruptions
  • Use registries and guidelines to improve cardiovascular disease care
  • Have the ability to use quality measure data to guide improvements

The Bottom Line

Practices seeking to improve patient outcomes and care delivery processes will be wise to use many quality improvement strategies rather than one or a few. If they don’t have internal QI experts, they should seek external assistance or talk to successful practices about their experiences and strategies.

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