Methods to improve provision of preventive services - Tips from Other Journals

Date: June, 1992

In a two-part article, Pommerenke and Dietrick review practical ways to implement preventive care into the practice of family medicine. In the first article, they discuss a model of the patient's path through the office or clinic, pointing out variables the patient encounters that effect the provision of preventive services. These variables involve the patient (e.g., health beliefs, attitudes), the patient's environment (e.g., the health care system), the physician (e.g., education) and the physician's environment (e.g., reminder systems, follow-up protocols).

The second article discusses principles for implementing preventive services in family practice (see table). These recommendations are derived from research and expert opinion and are intended to improve the delivery of screening tests, immunizations and counseling or health advice.

The authors recommend that physicians consider the proposed model and the principles for implementing preventive services when planning or evaluating the organization of their practices. (Journal of Family Practice, January 1992, vol. 34, pp. 86, 92.)

Principles for Implementing Preventive Services

1. Identify baseline performance rates for preventive activities. 2. Set reasonable goals that can be measured and periodically

review progress. 3. Develop a comprehensive plan to achieve and maintain goals. 4. Give high priority to staff training and participation. 5. Make sure office systems, organization and design facilitate

preventive care. 6. Use every opportunity to perform preventive services. 7. Use reminder systems to ensure that patients at risk are identified,

screened and followed. 8. Consider continuing medical education courses with an emphasis

on skills that can be applied in clinical practice. 9. Develop state-of-the-art counseling and communication skills. 10. Keep cost issues in perspective and minimize economic barriers

for patients.

From Pommerenke FA, Dietrich A. Improving and maintaining preventive services. Part II. Practical principles for primary care. J Farm Pact 1992;34: 92-7. Used with permission. [C] 1992 Appleton & Lange, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 1992 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

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