First published by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) in 2013, the Clinical-Community Relationships Measures Atlas (CCRM Atlas) is designed to give users a measurement framework to assess the effectiveness of clinical-community relationships as they relate to patient care. This robust manual is intended to help:
- Facilitate research
- Conduct quality improvement projects
- Encourage the creation of other clinical-community interventions
Three Primary Elements
Among the more intriguing elements of the CCRM Atlas is its measurement framework, which focuses on identifying, categorizing and understanding the basic components of building these clinic-community relationships:
- The Clinic & Clinician: This aspect includes the primary care clinician and the entire clinic. This serves as the initiation point for the clinical-community relationship (where referrals originate).
- The Patient: The patient is the subject of the referral. The Atlas explains that aspects of the patient’s life outside of the clinic or community resource can impact whether the referral becomes a successful connection.
- The Community Resource: This element encompasses a range of organizations and programs that provide services to patients.
The Atlas dives into a lengthy discussion about the various theoretical models that focus on the above-mentioned measurement elements. Among them:
- Bridging Model: The focus is on a set of foundational anchors with both the clinical providers and community organizations which help with relationship building
- Socio-ecological Model: This highlights how the individual characteristics of patients, the influence of their family structure, the work environment and the broader community policies all have an effect on the individual patient.
- Chronic Care Model: This expands on the importance of a “team” approach to patient care. It takes the emphasis off the primary clinician to include all members of the care team.
Clinical-Community Relationship Measures
The CCRM Atlas also includes several helpful tables that map out various measures of clinical-community relationships. These tables show the complexities of trying to capture hard data about measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of fostering clinical-community relationships in an effort to expand the delivery of clinical preventive services.
Additional details on these measurement frameworks and domains — along with background on clinical-community relationships — is available from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality.