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Change Agent: Practice Facilitators

This section outlines the AMA support plan for Alberta Practice Facilitators. This is intended to be a living document to reflect the ongoing development of content and approaches. For questions and feedback, please contact PFAdmin@albertadoctors.org.

Introduction:

Practice Facilitators are key change agents in the Alberta Primary Care and Health Neighbourhood transformation journey. Where many individuals working in the primary care system can choose to engage as a change agent, by the very nature of their role Practice Facilitators are change agents, working with community care practices to achieve meaningful improvement (see definition below).

Practice Facilitators are central in the approach to spreading and scaling the Patient’s Medical Home across all Alberta family practice clinics. There is strong evidence that practice facilitation is the lever for Patient’s Medical Home transformation. Specifically, the evidence demonstrates with practice facilitation there is:

  • Improved clinical outcomes
  • Better team work
  • System return on investment
  • Three times more likely implementation of evidence based guidelines/recommendations by physicians

​AS DEMONSTRATED IN OTHER SYSTEMS THAT HAVE SUCCESSFULLY TRANSFORMED, A SKILLED WORKFORCE DEDICATED TO THE PURPOSE PLAYS AN ESSENTIAL ROLE IN FACILITATING ADOPTION OF CHANGE.


Green et al. 2018

A local research study from 2018, Scaling Up - A Principled Approach for Primary Care Transformation in Alberta, provided five principles for scaling the Patient’s Medical Home in Alberta. One of these principles is:

“Practice Facilitation is essential”

Additionally, practice facilitation is essential to achieve two of the other principles from this study. These principles are: 1. Address the early majority in terms that make sense to them, 2. Help teams learn to distribute knowledge work activities and shift their mental models.

With the strong and growing evidence for Practice Facilitation as a lever for transformation, the AMA commitment to supporting these change agents continues to grow too.

Key Definitions:

Health Transformation Workforce (AMA working definition)
The health transformation workforce are practice facilitators and physician champions with the defined role and skill to work with community care practices to help them with their incremental transformation toward a Patient’s Medical Home integrated with the Health Neighbourhood. 

Practice Facilitator (AMA working definition)

Practice Facilitators are specially trained individuals who work with community care practices to enable meaningful changes designed to improve patients’ outcomes and clinic processes. They help physicians and quality improvement teams develop the skills they need to implement and adapt evidence-based practices to the specific circumstance of their practice environment. 

Practice Facilitation:

Practice Facilitation is a supportive service provided to community care practices by a specially trained individual who enables meaningful changes designed to improve patients’ outcomes and clinic processes.  A range of methods is used to build the internal capacity of a practice to engage in improvement activities over time to reach both incremental and transformative goals.  (Adapted from Baker)

CFPC PF Definition

Practice facilitation refers to the process of engaging and coaching primary care teams to test and implement changes to optimize clinical and non-clinical processes.  Practice facilitators serve as catalysts to help the clinic “flow”.  - CFPC 2019

     

Organizational Commitment


    

     Deploy


    

     Identify & Recruit


   

       Progress & Retain


    

      Develop