July 18, 2008
Primary care innovation across Partners

Recommendations for the enhancement of primary care across Partners was the featured topic at the June 27 John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation seminar. Attendees learned about several innovative plans to address current challenges in primary care from several key members of the Partners Primary Care Task Force: Britain Nicholson, MD, chief medical officer; Sally S. Iles, associate vice president for Medicine and Primary Care Services; Valerie E. Stone, MD, associate chief of the General Medicine Unit; and Greg Pauly, executive director of Primary Care Administration.

Established last fall under the auspices of Partners HealthCare President James J. Mongan, MD, the Partners Primary Care Task Force is co-chaired by Nicholson and Bob Goldszer, MD, MBA, former BWH associate chief medical officer and director of Primary Care. The group comprises 26 members — primary care physicians, specialists and administrative members — and has worked to examine and address issues that affect the recruitment and retention of primary care physicians. The task force's three subcommittees include over 100 members comprising the Practice Redesign Subcommittee, Career Development Subcommittee and Compensation Subcommittee.

Among the recommendations made include changing the model of care to make it easier for primary care physicians to provide better care to more patients; improving the training, recruitment and career development for physicians at all stages of their careers; and developing a compensation plan that promotes success in recruiting and retaining General Internal Medicine physicians.

Task force members will continue to share their recommendations across Partners. And, a plan to implement the recommendations currently is underway with the goal of making incremental changes over the next few years. Key parameters of care Ð such as access, patient experience, quality indicators, staff satisfaction and health care costs — will be monitored closely to gauge the success of this initiative.

Primary care innovators:  From left, Pauly, Iles, Stone and Nicholsonstoeckle

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