• Practical Playbook II Offers Guide to Better Population Health

    June 12, 2019 02:19 pm News Staff – Five years ago, the CDC; the Department of Family Medicin and Community Health at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C.; and the de Beaumont Foundation launched The Practical Playbook, an online resource designed to help professionals in the fields of primary care and public health work together to improve population health and reduce health care costs.

    In November 2015, the group published The Practical Playbook: Public Health and Primary Care Together, a textbook designed to show medical students, family medicine residents and others the benefits of integrating the two fields.

    Now the group's members are back with a new text. The Practical Playbook II: Building Multisector Partnerships That Work expands on the themes of the original textbook, providing examples of successful primary care/public health collaborations while offering tools and methods for family physicians and others who want to improve the health of their communities.

    The new book serves as a manual for creating and maintaining multisector partnerships. Its 50 chapters are arranged into eight sections that encompass a wide range of topics.

    "There is more specific information on identifying partners and best practices for engaging with partners in other sectors," Julie Wood, M.D., M.P.H., the AAFP's senior vice president for health of the public, science and interprofessional activities, told AAFP News. "One will also note more information on the use of data to inform community health and development of the workforce. A key component will be how we can integrate this information into health systems and family physician practices as we move toward population- and value-based care."


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    Family Medicine Strongly Represented

    Wood has been actively involved with The Practical Playbook project since its inception. She contributed to the 2015 textbook and co-authored a chapter for the new book titled "The Role of Primary Care in Population and Community Health: Pragmatic Approaches to Integration" with Kevin Grumbach, M.D., a professor and chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine.

    "I was excited to have the opportunity to highlight family medicine and primary care's role in population and community health with my co-author," Wood said. "In addition to offering practical ideas on how public health and primary care can work together to improve the health of communities, we are pleased that the AAFP's The EveryONE Project to promote health equity was also highlighted."

    Wood and Grumbach's chapter reviews the evolution of care models from patient- or family-centered care to panel management to community health management. It also describes the historical role of the population and community health frameworks in the development of primary care.

    The authors conclude the chapter by stating that primary care practices can take several steps to make progress on the road to integrating population health and community health. Wood gave AAFP News some additional insight about those steps.

    "Family physicians can include public health and community-based resources as a part of team-based care," she said. "Finding and partnering with community champions who can integrate data and resources can be helpful for patients and communities, and improve health outcomes. "The Playbook gives specific ideas and examples on how this can be successful while not increasing the workload of an already busy family physician."

    Wood and Grumbach are among several AAFP members who played significant roles in bringing The Practical Playbook II to fruition. Don Bradley, M.D., M.H.S.-C.L., an associate consulting professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Duke, currently serves as executive director for The Practical Playbook, while J. Lloyd Michener, M.D., a professor in the same department, is the project's principal investigator. Both are among the text's seven editors and they provided brief overviews for each section.

    Overall, the list of contributors to The Practical Playbook II includes eight family physicians and three student members of the AAFP.

    More Resources Available Online

    While The Practical Playbook II is an excellent print resource, Wood suggested that family physicians visit the initiative's website, where they can access blog posts, webinars, video presentations and other items.

    "The website is a dynamic version of both versions of the Playbook, with examples of partnerships, best practices and outcomes by topics and regions that can help with practical guidance on how primary care and public health can work together," she said.

    Wood also recommended that family physicians read the AAFP's position paper "Integration of Primary Care and Public Health" to better understand why integration is important and how it can benefit family physicians.