Table 3

Key Elements Distinguishing Higher- and Lower-Performing Practices

ElementHigher-Performing PracticesLower-Performing Practices
Managing competing demands to medical home implementation
 TechnologyMost had existing EHRsMost installed new EHRs during medical home implementation
 FinancesHad stable financial systems and processesHad less stable financial systems and processes
Leadership and vision
 Shared vision and buy-inChampions emphasized the need for all practice members to be on board with the initiative
Careful articulation and reinforcement of how the medical home will help patients and the practice and the need for changes
Little to no dissemination of information about the motivations for joining the initiative
Confusion about changing roles, uncertainty about processes and expected outcomes
 Deliberate planning and testing of changesCareful, deliberate plan of action, starting slowly with diabetic patients only and with 1 clinician and 1 office staff trying out novel methods and working out the kinks before implementing across the practiceInconsistent roll-out of methods
Building teams and resource capacity
 Sense of teamCollective problem solving and shared decision making
High levels of trust, respect, and collaboration
Regular multidisciplinary meetings and communication
Top-down approach to decision making
Less clarity on roles and responsibilities
Noninclusive approach to meetings and communication
 Cultivating human resourcesStrategic development of team in terms of composition and education/training
Expansion of the role of the medical assistant
Relatively stable staffing
Less effort to form an integrated team and insufficient education/training for staff
Role of the medical assistant remains more limited
Moderate to high staff turnover
Monitoring progress and obtaining feedback
 Feedback systemsSystematic ongoing processes to solicit and share feedbackFeedback was not systemic; lack of opportunity to provide feedback; little dissemination of feedback
 BenchmarkingData shared across practice regularly; stimulates changes and healthy competition among cliniciansData not shared regularly or widely
 Planning and implementation of changesShared planning and decision making regarding changesUnclear processes in terms of who is involved and what procedures in place to implement changes
  • EHR=electronic health record.

  • Source: Site visit observations and semistructured interviews.