National Presentation on Practice Facilitation Featuring Oregon Leaders

March 1, 2017   |  Tags: Blog   |  Tags: Practice Facilitation , Practice Coaching , QI , Interview , Training , CareOregon , ORPRN , CCOs
Kate Elliott

Last week I was honored to facilitate a panel of top-notch practice facilitators for a national webinar for the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI), a CMS-funded initiative to support more than 140,000 clinician practices over the next four years in sharing, adapting and further developing their comprehensive quality improvement strategies. I am one of the faculty members of the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) High-Value Care Support and Alignment Network (SAN) – the NRHI SAN produces learning modules for the TCPI Practice Transformation Networks (PTNs), who are working with clinicians and practices participating in the initiative.  Since so many PTNs are implementing practice facilitation programs for the first time, we decided to do a module on the role of a practice facilitator, and strategies for engaging practices.

I was happy to recruit three practice facilitators I know from Patient-Centered Primary Care Institute work – some provided facilitation services for our Learning Collaboratives, and all are members of our Technical Assistance Learning Network.  They were joined by a facilitator for an IPA in northern California, who is part of a PTN working on TCPI, as well as other initiatives with the IPA’s members.


Mark Remiker, MA, CCRP, Practice Enhancement and Research Specialist, Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network

Jillian Boyd, MPH, CCRP, Primary Care Transformation Specialist, Greater Oregon Behavioral Health Council/Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Association

Josué Aguirre, Primary Care Innovation Specialist, CareOregon

Samantha Monks, Practice Transformation Facilitator, Hill Physicians Medical Group, Bay Area, California


Key takeawys from the presentation included:

  • Practice facilitators should have patience, good energy, strong listening skills; they need to be persistent and flexible. They should build good relationships with practices – but don’t get too friendly, so that you remain a neutral party, and don’t try to solve every problem for clinics.  Facilitators are there to help practices find their own answers, because those are the ones that will be sustainable for them.
  • Sometimes facilitators face tough situations – no good QI or transformation champion in a clinic they are assigned to work with, or they are working with clinics with good intentions, but limited time and too many priorities. Facilitators can use a lot of strategies to address these challenges, but also need to accept less-than-ideal situations, and do what can be done to support the practice’s development.
  • Staying organized is critical – you may need to document for a specific project or initiative, but also consider taking your own field notes, so you can capture important observations and be able to pick up right where you left off on each clinic visit.  AHRQ and Coach Medical Home offer a ton of resources facilitators and teams can adopt.
  •  It is critical to help practices align their goals with organization, initiative and project goals. Working towards someone else’s priorities isn’t likely to motivate clinics. Facilitators can help clinics identify their priorities – what’s something they know they need to change to improve their clinic – and help align those with organizational goals.  Although the two may seem different, there are lots of ways to create win-win situations.

You can access the recording for this presentation if you want to hear the whole conversation.


Kate Elliott is a Senior Program Director at Q Corp, and in that role she’s been responsible for developing the Patient-Centered Primary Care Institute, an initiative to accelerate and support primary care transformation in Oregon by bringing together health care providers, clinic staff, technical experts, patients, quality improvement professionals and others to share valuable knowledge and resources. Before joining Q Corp in 2012, Kate served in a variety of functions over her eight years with Planned Parenthood Arizona, including administering training programs, managing volunteer and medical student programs, and working in a clinic. Kate graduated from Arizona State University with a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Studies in 2010.