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Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

Building Skills for Practice Facilitators

The Challenge:

AHRQ says on its website: “The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is the lead Federal agency charged with improving the safety and quality of America’s health care system.” Among its initiatives, AHRQ wanted to strengthen practice facilitation: “Practice facilitation is an approach to supporting improvement in primary care practices that focuses on building organizational capacity for continuous improvement. Practice facilitators are specially trained individuals who work with primary care practices to make meaningful changes designed to improve patients’ outcomes.” AHRQ previously provided practice facilitators with a set of PDFs, explaining key principles, approaches, and tools to try to equip them to successfully improve the primary care practices they worked with. AHRQ wanted to dramatically enhance the learning experience, to upgrade the skills of practice facilitators. AHRQ was working with Abt Associates to upgrade the offerings, and Abt in turn hired Illumina Interactive as a subcontractor to work with AHRQ and create a series of interactive elearning modules for practice facilitators.

The Solution:

AHRQ, Abt, and Illumina collaborated to create a set of 14 elearning modules for AHRQ to provide to practice facilitators. To make the learning engaging and effective, AHRQ sought to infuse the courses with information and examples from real experience, relayed by facilitators and researchers – voices from the field. Illumina designed the modules to give learners opportunities to apply the knowledge conveyed in the modules, to ensure that they understood and retained it. The modules were comprehensive, but the learner also had complete control to take modules in whole or in part, making the modules beneficial for new practitioners, and also useful as a refresher or specific skill build for veteran practitioners.

The full set of modules is freely available at https://www.ahrq.gov/ncepcr/tools/transform-qi/deliver-facilitation/modules/index.html



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