Implementation of Practice Transformation

Patient Experience According to Practice Leaders

Published in: Quality Management in Health Care, Volume 26, Number 3 (July/September 2017), pages 140-151. doi: 10.1097/QMH.0000000000000141

Posted on on August 01, 2017

by Denise D. Quigley, Alina I. Palimaru, Alex Y. Chen, Ron D. Hays

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Examine practice leaders' perceptions and experiences of how patient-centered medical home (PCMH) transformation improves patient experience.


Thirty-six interviews with lead physicians (n = 13), site clinic administrators (n = 13), and nurse supervisors (n = 10).


Semi-structured interviews at 14 primary care practices within a large urban Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) delivery system to identify critical patient experience domains and mechanisms of change. Identified patient experience domains were compared with Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) items.


We identified 28 patient experience domains improved by PCMH transformation, of which 22 are measured by CAHPS, and identified 24 mechanisms of change commonly reported by practice leaders during PCMH transformation.


PCMH practice transformation can improve patient experience. Most patient experience domains reported as improved during PCMH efforts are measured by CAHPS items. Practices would benefit from collecting specific information on staff behaviors related to teamwork, team-based communication, scheduling, emergency and inpatient follow-up, and referrals. All 3 types of practice leaders reported 4 main mechanisms of PCMH change that improved patient experience. Our findings provide guidance for practice leaders on which strategies of PCMH practice transformation lead to specific improvements in patient experience measures. Further research is needed on the relationship between PCMH changes and changes in CAHPS patient experience scores.

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