Practice Facilitator Program

Our practice facilitator program prepares qualified individuals to transform clinical and administrative practices across health care organizations.

About Practice Facilitation

As part of its ongoing commitment to practice improvement, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) developed resources and products to support the use of practice facilitation in primary care settings and population health. As part of its work in this area, AHRQ commissioned Mathematica Policy Research to conduct case studies of three exemplary practice facilitation training programs in the United States and describe their formation, operation, and curricula.

Practice Facilitators provide an integral supportive service to health care practices and organizations acting as catalysts for change while assisting in building organizational capacity towards continuous quality improvement. These individuals use a range of organizational development, project management, QI, and practice improvement approaches and methods to build the internal capacity of a practice. In turn, the practice will engage in improvement activities over time reaching incremental and transformative improvement goals. This support may be provided onsite, virtually (through phone conferences and webinars), or through a combination of onsite and virtual visits.

Objectives might include helping a practice implement evidence based guidelines, development of workflows to support team-based care, optimizing the use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) for population health management, or supporting health care delivery models that lead to enhanced patient experience, lower costs, and better patient outcomes. Practice facilitation activities may also focus in particular on helping primary care practices become patient-centered medical homes, but they can also help practices in more general quality improvement and redesign efforts.

Role of a Practice Facilitator

Practice facilitation may involve a wide range of activities, depending on the needs and goals of the practice or organization, forming a coherent set of activities for organizational change and redesign.

  • Assessment and feedback to practices regarding organizational, clinical, and business functions to drive change
  • Use of practice-level data to drive change
  • Training of staff in QI methods and specific transformation processes, such as team-based care
  • Formation and facilitation of practice QI teams
  • Best practices in QI structures and methods
  • Executive coaching and leadership training
  • Support, encouragement, reinforcement, and recognition of successes
  • Project and change management
  • Resource identification and procurement
  • Capacity building in the use of health IT to support improved clinical care and office efficiency
  • Cross-pollination of good ideas and best practices between healthcare practices
  • Capacity building for improved linkages to outside resources
  • Technical assistance in implementing particular models of care such as the chronic care model
  • Supporting general and specific QI work and activities
  • Support activities directly related to patient centered medical home (PCMH) transformation goals

Choose UB

The University at Buffalo offers one of only a handful of practice facilitator programs across the nation. This robust 13 week certificate program will prepare individuals to lead practice transformation. The program was selected as a national training model based on results of an environmental scan of existing practice facilitation training programs and nominations from the field.

As part of its ongoing commitment to practice improvement, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) developed resources and products to support the use of practice facilitation in primary care settings and population health. As part of its work in this area, AHRQ commissioned Mathematica Policy Research to conduct case studies of three exemplary practice facilitation training programs in the United States and describe their formation, operation, and curricula.

This program will empower individuals with the critical skills and knowledge to guide, coach, and influence transformation activities within the health care environment.

Requirements

85.5 total hours of coursework is required over 13 weeks.

Additional Requirements:

  • Internet and computer access.
  • Participation in 13 total weekly live video seminars in 1.5 hour sessions.
  • 40-hour field work practicum experience.
  • Complete 26 hours of reflective learning.

Curriculum

The curriculum provides content related to a variety of topics that promote more efficient and effective practice facilitation while building expertise in core competencies such as facilitating meetings, utilizing a variety of practice assessment tools and leveraging existing structures to improve quality.  

It also informs facilitator students about important concepts such as the chronic care model, PDSA cycles, workflow mapping and implementing a quality improvement program

Curriculum topics include:

  • Pre-course HIPAA training
  • Practice Facilitation
  • Meeting facilitation and documentation strategies
  • Assessing practices for organizational readiness
  • Academic Detailing
  • Chronic Care Management (including Motivational Interviewing)
  • Self-Management
  • Quality Improvement – Creating the team, developing the QI plan, selection of measures, and collecting, preparing, presenting & benchmarking data
  • Clinical Care Teams
  • Change Management
  • Implementing rapid change cycles – PDSA
  • Implementing a workflow map
  • Learning from a diverse group of participants
  • Dealing with difficult people and situations
  • Regional and national trends in practice facilitation
  • Practice facilitator support systems

Field Experience

The field experience component for the program is to be completed in parallel with course didactics and seminars or at the end of the program. Students will work with a preceptor to maximize the student’s learning opportunities and growth in practice facilitation. The field experience component requires 40 hours of learning, in which the student must demonstrate the core competency skills/activities for practice facilitation.

Career Opportunities

  • State and Local Health Agencies, Department of Health
  • Community Based Organizations
  • Quality Improvement Organizations
  • Area Health Education Centers (AHEC)
  • HITECH Regional Extension Centers
  • Practice-Based Research Networks
  • Primary Care Associations
  • Accountable Care Organizations
  • Chartered Value Exchanges
  • Insurance Companies

Tuition

The program cost is $4,000. Register and apply now.