Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care

The Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care envisions caring, effective systems built on a foundation of strong primary care. They work to achieve this vision, by focusing their work into three areas; transforming education, transforming care systems, and creating new approaches to primary care and health in alignment with our redefined mission-Transforming Primary Care to Strengthen Health Systems.

Since the inception of the Center five years ago, they have made great progress in all areas. Through partnerships with primary care practices in Harvard affiliated teaching hospitals and community health centers, they continue to help improve care for more than 300,000 patients. They are working closely with the HMS Program in Medical Education to offer a new foundational curriculum that for the first time includes a longitudinal primary care practicum for the development of clinical skills for all medical students. The Center’s faculty played a key role in the inclusion of this as a core part of the new Pathways curriculum. This past year, they launched InciteHealth, a fellowship opportunity for individuals and teams from across industry and academia to invent the future of health care. The Center’s original research and case series, profile high performing primary care organizations from around the globe including Alaska’s Southcentral Foundation, a primary care team from the Netherlands, Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, and Martin¹s Point Health Care-Bangor.

Since its launch, the AIC has advanced innovation in education and care delivery at its participating practices, which collectively care for more than 300,000 patients. Key accomplishments include:

  • A high functioning, highly engaged, interorganizational learning community.
  • Fundamental transformation at all participating practices to highfunctioning, interdisciplinary, clinical teams.
  • A process of identifying and proactively addressing the unique needs of patients deemed highrisk or complex.
  • Engaged and supportive leadership at all levels.
  • Incorporation of residents and students into the transformation process as both “agents of change” and care team members. 
  • Patient inclusion, partnership, and input on multiple levels.

Following on the success of the AIC’s first two years, the Center for Primary launched a patient safety focused continuation of the AIC in partnership with the CRICO Risk Management Foundation called AIC CARES. AIC CARES attracted nine additional practices, bringing the total number of participating practices to 28. The AIC CARES Initiative focuses on patient safety while also continuing the emphasis on improving overall quality of care, and patient, clinician and staff experience. The aims of AIC CARES include:

  • Continue practice transformation towards high functioning interdisciplinary teams.
  • Prevent missed and delayed diagnoses of colorectal and breast cancer, OR:
  • Reduce the gap between positive developmental screenings to completing referrals for children under 3.
  • Reduce preventable harm for patients with multiple clinical, behavioral, or psychosocial morbidities.
  • Train multidisciplinary teams of leaders capable of spreading and facilitating spread.

Currently in its final year, the AIC CARES practices are accelerating their efforts with the goal of meeting or exceeding their established aims as they look to 2016 and beyond.

Executive Member Since: 
December 2015
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