Those of us at MacColl who were lucky enough to participate in our PCT-LEAP project’s site visit process had the opportunity to spend the best part of a week getting to know the teams that worked at 30 busy primary care practices around the country.  The luxury of time gave us a chance to do more than meet in conference rooms, we were able to attend team meetings and shadow not only providers and staff but also patients from the moment they arrived at the clinic to get a “customer-eye” view of how care was delivered.

Of course more time spent at the clinic also meant we had more time in the city or town it cares for.  We had the opportunity to explore Main streets across the country, to sample local fare at delis, food trucks and restaurants, and to talk to residents about how the practice interacted with the surrounding community.  I frequently came away impressed by how thoughtfully the practice applied itself to the work of being a good citizen in the neighborhoods where they worked.  This might mean sponsoring fun runs, organizing off-site health screenings, or offering cooking classes and space for community gardens.

Most significant was the very planful approach that a number of practices had for making sure their staff not only assisted the community, but that they also themselves were from the neighborhoods they served.  The bond between a health care system and its patients is strengthened when they not only meet in the clinic, but in the aisle of the grocery store or at the class play.  You can learn more about how Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practice (LEAP) sites work to improve the culture of health in the communities they care for on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Human Capital Blog.

Brian Austin

Event Date: 
Fri, 07/18/2014