Programs and Initiatives in Health Care – Quality Improvement

Programs & Initiatives in Health Care
Practice Facilitation

About Practice Facilitation

Practice facilitation, sometimes called quality improvement coaching, is an approach to support primary care practices build organizational capacity for continuous quality improvement. Practice facilitators can be thought of as “catalysts for change,” supporting transformation at the individual, team, organizational and systems levels.

This kind of work can include helping a practice implement evidence-based guidelines, developing workflows to support team-based care, or using Electronic Health Records (EHRs) for population health management.

Practice Facilitation in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health contracts with Stratis Health, HealthPartners and the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) to provide clinic practice facilitation to implement the chronic care management system as a best practice. This work is funded by CDC’s State Public Health Actions Grants. In addition, MDH has staff trained in practice facilitation.

Experts in quality improvement.

Practice facilitators provide technical assistance on quality reporting and clinical improvement processes. They can assist with improving work flows using Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles to implement an action plan; help clinics with comparative data and benchmarking; build capacity to improve linkages to outside resources; and strengthen health information technology use.

Examples include:

  • Completing a clinic and EHR assessment
  • Pulling data regularly to measure performance and drive change
  • Identifying best practices and resources for clinic and patient engagement, and quality improvement structures and methods

Learning, sharing and networking

Practice facilitators also bring primary care practices together to cross-pollinate ideas and best practices.

Examples include:

  • An on-site clinic kick-off to orient clinics and partners to practice facilitation
  • A local or regional health care summit or mini-learning collaborative for participating partners around the clinical and community concerns of their area

Support, encouragement, reinforcement and recognition

Practice facilitators bring clinics and their partners together regularly to recognize their accomplishments and share best practices of each participating organization.


For more information

Practice Facilitation: Healthy Northland Million Hearts® Initiative