Skip Navigation Archive: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Archive: Agency for Healthcare Research Quality
Archival print banner

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to for current information.

Assessing a Practice Coaching Intervention for Improving Chronic Care in Safety Net Organizations (Text Version)

Slide presentation from the AHRQ 2009 conference.

On September 14, 2009, Shinyi Wu made this presentation at the 2009 Annual Conference. Select to access the PowerPoint® presentation (569 KB).

Slide 1


Assessing a Practice Coaching Intervention for Improving Chronic Care in Safety Net Organizations

Shinyi Wu, PhD
Assistant Professor, Epstein Department of
Industrial and Systems Engineering
University of Southern California &
September 14, 2009, presented at AHRQ Conference


Slide 2


Acknowledgement: Co-authors, Sponsor, and Participants

  • Marjorie Pearson, PhD, RAND
  • Katie Coleman, MSPH, ICIC, GroupHealth
  • Brian Austin, ICIC, GroupHealth
  • Ed Wagner, MD, ICIC, GroupHealth
  • Wendy Jameson, MPP, MPH, Safety Net Institute
  • Cindy Brach, MPP, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • The participating healthcare organizations


Slide 3


Lessons Learned from CCM Collaboratives Call for Further Implementation Research

  • Teams spent considerable time searching for/developing tools
  • Some teams felt intimidated by taking on the whole model—asked for a sequence
  • Collaboratives were time & resource intensive
  • Many changes were made in ways that were not sustainable financially


Slide 4


Test A Team Coaching Approach to Help Practices Implement CCM

  • Recognizing that medical practices often need flexible, hands-on support when embarking on a program of practice improvement
    • Especially safety-net organizations
  • Testing a coaching intervention (coupled with a toolkit) to disseminate the CCM
  • Funded by AHRQ


Slide 5


Practice Coaching Design

  • Who were coached?
    Nine randomly selected primary care teams from two clinics in two California public hospital systems
  • Who were the coaches?
    Two quality improvement experts external to the hospital systems
  • How was coaching structured?
    • Two site visits
    • Communicated by phone and E-mail
    • Monthly reports to coaches


Slide 6


Three Intervention Phases

  • Phase I: Laying the foundation for success
    • Form Coaching Team
    • Get Acquainted With Leadership
    • Orient the Practice Team to the Work
  • Phase II: Active practice coaching
    • Conduct prework assessment & prepare teams for site visits
    • Run learning sessions
    • Support the teams
  • Phase III: Sustaining the gains
    • Close out coaching and expect teams to continue


Slide 7


Logic Model: Chain of Action

  • 1. Environment & organizational contexts
  • 2. Workgroup & team effectiveness
    • Practice coaching
  • 3. Changes in system
  • 4. Changes in process
  • 5. Changes in outcomes


Slide 8


Evaluation Methods

  • Quasi-experimental design with three arms
    • Intervention, internal control, and external control
  • Implementation assessment through site visits
    • Environmental and organizational contexts
    • Practice coaching
    • Implementation process
    • Perceived impact & lessons learned
  • Process & outcomes assessment
    • Participants perceived impact
    • HEDIS diabetes care indicators & utilization measures


Slide 9


Results: Contexts

  • Environment: Challenging, but not about survival
  • Organization: Commit to improving chronic illness care and have some ongoing activities
  • Leadership support for the project: modest
  • Improvement experience: Have previous and ongoing improvement projects; experience varied
  • Participants: "Majority" adopters of CCM; randomized to participate so modest level of excitement
  • Information system: Average cumbersome


Slide 10


Results: Coaching

  • Coaching is perceived as
    • A necessary bridge to the toolkit
    • Motivated and prompted people to make changes
    • Extended the horizons of the teams
    • Had a positive effect on team building
    • Built an emotional bond which was a key success factor for coaching
  • The coaching costs approximately $41,000 for the two clinic sites, including time spent in coach training, coaching, travel, and communication


Slide 11


Suggested Modifications to Our Practice Coaching Approach

  • Coaching should include more face-to-face interactions
  • An internal coach might be added
  • Coaching intensity may need to be greater at the beginning
  • Coaches should be more proactive and creative in introducing the toolkit
  • Continue coaching for a longer period of time


Slide 12


Coaching Effects on Workgroup and Team Effectiveness

  • Changes in self-efficacy and knowledge:
    • Individuals positive on gaining skills, knowledge, and tools to improving clinical care
  • Working as a team:
    • Coaching did not change the working relationship and team structure, but did strengthen people working together as a team
  • Acquiring health system support
    • A coach can help problem-solving, but sustained support requires a local leader to organize the efforts


Slide 13


Lessons Learned

  • Practice Coaching is a feasible mechanism for facilitating CCM quality improvement in safety net clinic settings
    • Assessing resources firsthand and tailoring advice
    • More staff can participate in the practice improvement sessions
    • Coaching can be delivered with minimal impact on patient access
  • Practice coaching vs. collaborative learning
    • Providing structured learning time is key
  • Practice coaching can really jump-start the spread
    • Especially when there is internal knowledge and experience


Slide 14



  • The field of practice coaching is still evolving
    • Clearly defining the coaches' role and regularly checking expectations is important
  • Different models of QI facilitation may work better in different settings and timing
  • Coaching on business improvement along with quality improvement needs to be further developed and studied


Slide 15


Thank you

For additional information:

CCM Toolkit and Coaching Manual:
"Integrating Chronic Care and Business Strategies in the Safety Net: A Toolkit for Primary Care Practices and Clinics"
"Practice Coaching Manual"

RAND Chronic Care Studies:

Shinyi Wu

Current as of December 2009
Internet Citation: Assessing a Practice Coaching Intervention for Improving Chronic Care in Safety Net Organizations (Text Version). December 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care