LAWRENCE — A team of researchers from the School of Social Welfare Center for Children & Families has been approved for a Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to support work focused on rural patient and provider perspectives on the patient-centered medical home model.
Amy Mendenhall, professor in social welfare and director of the School of Social Welfare’s Center for Children and Families, will lead the engagement project in collaboration with KU research staffers Cheryl Holmes and Michelle Levy. The project will focus on how to enact patient-centered medical homes in rural areas so that the model can be successful in rural and frontier areas while supporting the outcomes that rural patients value.
“The patient-centered medical home model has been identified nationally as an effective way to improve patient outcomes, but there has been little work focusing specifically on patient-centered medical homes in rural areas,” Mendenhall said. “And so our work this year is going to explore which outcomes are most important to rural patients and caregivers, how patient-centered medical homes help with these outcomes and what are the factors that impact development and implementation of patient-centered medical homes in rural areas.”
The project includes collaboration with community partners from Kansas and Missouri, including REACH Healthcare Foundation, Thrive Allen County, Health Care Collaborative of Rural Missouri and Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas. Qualis Health will provide consultation. Additionally, patients and caregivers from local communities as well as representatives from state and national patient, caregiver and provider groups will be active participants in all of the work done throughout the project.
“Each of our key partners brings a critical perspective and expertise,” Holmes said. “Rural settings often have unique needs based on their environmental and cultural realities. So to make it truly relevant to a rural community, it is essential that we have rural voice, front and center, to guide the work. But provider voice is not enough. We need patients and caregivers actively involved to inform the work as well.”
The project is part of a portfolio of projects approved for PCORI funding to help develop a skilled community of patients and other stakeholders from across the entire health care enterprise and to involve them meaningfully in every aspect of PCORI’s work.
“This project was selected for Engagement Award funding not only for its commitment to engaging patients and other stakeholders, but also for its potential to increase the usefulness and trustworthiness of the information we produce and facilitate its dissemination and uptake,” said Jean Slutsky, PCORI’s Chief Engagement and Dissemination Officer. “We look forward to following the project’s progress and working with KU School of Social Welfare to share the results.”
The School of Social Welfare’s project and the other projects approved for funding by the PCORI Engagement Award Program were selected through a highly competitive review process in which applications were assessed for their ability to meet PCORI’s engagement goals and objectives as well as program criteria. PCORI has awarded more than $3 million to support 18 projects to date through the program. See more information here about PCORI’s funding to support engagement efforts.
PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund comparative effectiveness research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence needed to make better-informed health and health care decisions. PCORI is committed to seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.