A grand learning opportunity at a crucial time

Andrew Bazemore, MD Director, Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care

I’m excited about Evidence NOW, which shares our center’s commitment to understanding the dimensions and needs of the largest platform of health care delivery in the U.S., primary care practices.

The Robert Graham Center was created by the American Academy of Family Physicians to improve the health of both individuals and populations by enhancing delivery of primary care. Our studies have shown that the small practices that still provide a large portion of primary care are in decline, and lack the resources to make needed improvements. That is especially true in rural areas where these clinics are often the only nearby medical resource.

At the same time, most of the research literature and recommendations for care improvement come from large organizations. If these small practices are going to survive, thrive and provide maximum health benefits for their patients, they will need both more relevant information that is, focused on their specific challenges and help from external sources.

That’s why I’m so excited about EvidenceNOW, which shares our center’s commitment to understanding the dimensions and needs of the largest platform of health care delivery in the U.S., primary care practices, especially in prevention of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. To my knowledge, there has never been such a large effort aimed at helping small practices improve. The lessons learned from this effort should help those practices focus on key areas needing change, while giving potential external partners the information they need to help support those changes.

I am even more excited about the role ESCALATES plays in this grand learning opportunity. It will require both creativity and expertise to identify those lessons across all of the project’s diverse participants and interventions. I know that the researchers at ESCALATES are up to that task, and have the unique understanding of primary care and its problems. Please keep me, and the Graham Center, aware of what you are learning. We look forward to hearing more about how we can help facilitate the dissemination and application of findings.