Strategies for Achieving Whole-Practice Engagement and Buy-in to the Patient-Centered Medical Home

PURPOSE The current model of primary care in the United States limits physicians’ ability to offer high-quality care. The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) shows promise in addressing provision of high-quality care, but achieving a PCMH practice model often requires comprehensive organizational change. Guided by Solberg’s conceptual framework for practice improvement, which argues for shared prioritization of improvement and change, we describe strategies for obtaining organizational buy-in to and whole-staff engagement of PCMH transformation and practice improvement.

METHODS Semistructured interviews with 136 individuals and 7 focus groups involving 48 individuals were conducted in 20 small- to mid-sized medical practices in Pennsylvania during the first regional rollout of a statewide PCMH initiative. For this study, we analyzed interview transcripts, monthly narrative reports, and observer notes from site visits to identify discourse pertaining to organizational buy-in and strategies for securing buy-in from personnel. Using a consensual qualitative research approach, data were reduced, synthesized, and managed using qualitative data management and analysis software.

RESULTS We identified 13 distinct strategies used to obtain practice buy-in, reflecting 3 overarching lessons that facilitate practice buy-in: (1) effective communication and internal PCMH campaigns, (2) effective resource utilization, and (3) creation of a team environment.

CONCLUSION Our study provides a list of strategies useful for facilitating PCMH transformation in primary care. These strategies can be investigated empirically in future research, used to guide medical practices undergoing or considering PCMH transformation, and used to inform health care policy makers. Our study findings also extend Solberg’s conceptual framework for practice improvement to include buy-in as a necessary condition across all elements of the change process.

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