• Transformation in Practice Series

    Take a Look: Three New AAFP TIPS Products Now Available

    October 19, 2018, 04:17 pm Sheri Porter – The AAFP has added three new products to its Transformation in Practice Series (AAFP TIPS) that aims to make practice change as simple as possible.

    TIPS logo

    The new AAFP TIPS topics -- clinical data registries, continuity of care and team documentation -- join products on quality improvement and empanelment that launched in May.

    All five selections are available at a 25 percent discount through Oct. 31, although team documentation will always be offered at no charge to AAFP members.

    Cheri Blacksten, M.D., a solo family physician new to practice in Albuquerque, N.M., served as a physician reviewer on all three topics. She told AAFP News all the products were "very user-friendly and a good start to doing a quality improvement activity in the clinic."

    Blacksten suggested that practices larger than her "tiny" clinic likely would find the continuity of care and team-based topics especially helpful.

    Read all about the new listings and decide which ones are right for your practice.

    Clinical Data Registries

    As any physician who has used an electronic health record knows, just because these systems can collect vast quantities of information doesn't mean that the data they spit out is useful.

    Clinical data registries (CDRs) can

    • enhance the usability of electronic data;
    • support quality reporting, population management, care management and quality improvement; and
    • boost practice efficiency.


    This topic has tools to help practices determine if a CDR would be of benefit and, if the answer is "yes," it will provide instruction on how to select and implement a registry. Two registries designed for primary care are reviewed in detail.

    The purchase price of $21.75 for members ($43.50 for nonmembers) reflects the 25 percent discount and includes four interactive online learning courses, four customizable slide decks for team discussion and eight ready-to-use downloadable tools.

    This topic was authored by Sandy Pogones, M.P.A., a certified professional in health care quality and the AAFP's senior strategist for health care quality.

    Continuity of Care

    Continuity of care is the heart and soul of family medicine, and it results in those unique physician/patient relationships that truly enhance patient care.

    The way to improve continuity of care is to measure and assess how well a practice is really doing on this important aspect of care. Tools in this AAFP TIPS product were designed especially for practice teams.

    Members pay $21.75 with the current 25 percent discount (nonmembers pay $43.50) and receive three mobile-friendly interactive online learning courses and three customizable slide decks for team training to encourage participation in the improvement efforts.

    Practices also get four Excel workbooks to help physicians determine the levels of continuity of care they are delivering, as well as

    • four instructional videos; and
    • six downloadable tools, including a patient-centered continuity of care "spot check" worksheet, a policy on scheduling to enhance continuity of care and a patient welcome letter.

    Access to additional resources and references is included.

    This topic was authored by Tracey Allen-Ehrhart, manager of the AAFP's Center for Quality.

    Team Documentation

    It's important to note that AAFP Senior Vice President for Education Clif Knight, M.D., suggested that AAFP staff members consider team documentation as a topic area because it could serve as a useful resource to address physician burnout.

    “Unfortunately, many family physicians believe they can't afford to add the staff necessary for team documentation," Knight told AAFP News.

    However, "Based on the positive experiences reported by those who successfully use this model -- including higher patient and staff satisfaction, lower physician burnout, less work after clinic hours, and increased revenue -- I believe strongly that this needs to become the standard way to practice," said Knight.

    "Team documentation should not be considered a luxury for only a fortunate few physicians," he added. "The TIPS education resources help demystify these models and provide family physicians an important roadmap for implementation."

    The topic author, Kate Freeman, M.P.H., an AAFP quality improvement strategist, noted that this AAFP TIPS topic will help physicians not only understand the benefits of team documentation, but importantly, also how to build a financial case for instituting this model.

    This topic is free to members; nonmembers pay $43.50 with the discount. The package includes three interactive mobile-friendly online learning courses, three customizable slide decks for team discussion and eight downloadable tools, including

    • a team documentation cost-savings calculator,
    • an activity delineating clinic staff roles and responsibilities,
    • a team documentation metric run chart, and
    • a quality improvement planning worksheet.

    This topic also includes easy access to additional resources and references.

    The AAFP TIPS team documentation topic has been reviewed and is acceptable for up to 2.0 AAFP Prescribed credits.

    Additionally, due to significant interest from family medicine residency programs, the AAFP has created a TIPS webpage for program directors that includes special pricing.