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Promoting the Development and Dissemination of Practice Facilitation in North America

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Promoting the Development and Dissemination of Practice Facilitation in North America Project Summary Practice facilitation represents a relatively new healthcare profession. Practice Facilitators (PFs) are individuals from varied backgrounds specifically trained to support practice improvement by developing sustained relationships with community-based primary care practices. Primary care Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRNs) and other organizations in the U.S. and Canada have experimented with various models of practice facilitation since the late 1990s. Through the systematic work of PBRNs, the conceptual framework and evidence-base of practice facilitation has evolved and expanded since the early 2000s. Additional research is needed on innovative models of practice facilitation, improvement of PF training, development of PF programs, and dissemination of facilitation innovations. Therefore, a growing number of organizations that employ PFs have urged the Coordinated Coalition of Primary Care Research Networks (CoCoNet2) to develop and organize annual National Practice Facilitation Conferences. In response, CoCoNet2 formed a Steering Committee of network directors, experienced PFs, and the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) to develop this conference proposal. In addition to hosting the conference, CoCoNet2, NAPCRG, PBRN directors, and PFs across the country are committed to furthering the understanding of the impact and value of PFs in primary care and develop a national learning community and a corresponding evaluation design. This innovative approach will allow longitudinal follow-up of PFs to explore the functions, roles, and tasks of facilitation in diverse primary care settings and to further assess key elements of facilitation, including relationship building, team management, and application of change management strategies at the practice and, increasingly, at the community level. As a result of these efforts, the Steering Committee is planning to convene the 1.5 day conferences to be held in 2017, 2018, and 2019 in conjunction with the PBRN Annual Meetings with an overlapping plenary session relevant to both audiences. The PF conference will: 1) Provide a novel venue for PFs that will be extended and reinforced through an ongoing, national learning community; 2) Support the diffusion and sustainability of practice facilitation by disseminating innovations, knowledge, best practices, and useful resources; and 3) Promote the evolving science of practice facilitation through research presentations, forums, workshops, and continuous professional networking.
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