Implementation of a patient centred medical home (PCMH) initiative in general practices in New South Wales, Australia

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BMC Family Practice


Background: With an ageing population and an increase in chronic disease burden in Australia, Patient Centred Medical Home (PCMH) models of care have been identified as potential options for primary care reform and improving health care outcomes. Adoption of PCMH models are not well described outside of North America. We examined the experiences of seven general practices in an Australian setting that implemented projects aligned with PCMH values and goals supported by their local Primary Health Network (PHN). Method: Qualitative and quantitative data were collected over a twelve month period, including semi-structured interviews, participant observation, and practice data to present a detailed examination of a subject of study; the implementation of PCMH projects in seven general practices. We conducted 49 interviews (24 pre and 25 post) with general practitioners, practice managers, practice nurses and PHN staff. Framework analysis deploying the domains of a logic model was used to synthesis and analyse the data. Results: Facilitators in implementing successful, sustainable change included the capacity and willingness of practices to undertake change; whole of practice engagement with a shared vision towards PCMH change; engaged leadership; training and support; and structures and processes required to provide team-based, data driven care. Barriers to implementation included change fatigue, challenges of continued engaged leadership and insufficient time to implement PCMH change. Conclusions: Our study examined the experiences of implementing PCMH initiatives in an Australian general practice setting, describing facilitators and barriers to PCMH change. Our findings provide guidance for PHNs and practices within Australia, as well as general practice settings internationally, that are interested in undertaking similar quality improvement projects.

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