Student Poster

Qualitative Insights from an Interprofessional Clinic Model

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BACKGROUND: As many as 30% of emergency department (ED) visits in the United States are for problems that are not considered urgent,1 meaning they could have been treated in another setting. Patients with chronic conditions often seek care from ED services for non-emergent problems. $4.4 billion in annual costs could be saved if patients sought treatment for their non-urgent problem in the proper setting. Interprofessional clinics (IPCs) are well-suited to address these challenges. Despite robust literature on specialty IPCs, a gap in the literature merits exploration for primary care IPCs. The purpose of this exploratory research study is to examine the creation, practices, and interprofessional collaboration of a primary care IPC model.

STUDY DESIGN: Thorough review of IPC literature informed this exploratory qualitative study of primary care IPCs in the southeastern portion of the US. A purposive sample of 10 primary care IPCs in Kentucky were identified and one IPC selected as the pilot study site. The study was reviewed and approved by IRB (75855). A semi-structured interview was conducted to explore clinic formation, challenges, structure, and advice. Additional qualitative prompts explored the ways in which the clinic impacts patients and the community.

RESULTS: Common themes across the qualitative data included access to care, identification of clinician/profession champions, intentional communication, and consideration for finances. The major theme was clear in that this IPC helps patients access healthcare who may otherwise “fall through the cracks”- improving quality of life and creating accessible and high caliber healthcare. Establishing all services/professions and ongoing clear communication were essential to quality IPC model.

CONCLUSION & REFLECTIONS: Results of this study indicate IPCs offer a model of accessible, quality, and comprehensive care to patients. Implementing an array of specialties, along with primary care, into one common area for patients helps increase access, improve patients’ healthcare, and decrease cost. Further study should include additional IPCs and geographic diversity.
IPCs have been shown to provide benefit to both patients and the health care system in terms of quality and outcomes. IPCs increase access to specialist and primary care, helping to reduce burden on emergency departments where patients may otherwise seek non-urgent care.

CONFERENCE/CRITERIA FIT: This exploratory IPC study aligns with the “Partnerships Advancing Care with People and Communities” category. The qualitative approach is novel for this examination of an IPC model that serves the community and improves outcomes.