Past Systems Transformation Programs

Academic Innovations Collaborative
The Center’s Academic Innovations Collaborative was a two-year program, running from 2012-2014, focused on fostering innovation in education and care delivery. The Collaborative was made up of 20 Harvard-affiliated primary care teaching practices that care for more than 275,000 patients.

The AIC was designed to transform primary care delivery at local clinics and community health centers with a focus on building high-functioning, interdisciplinary teams to improve patient experience and quality of care. The program allowed students and residents to work with local clinics to transform how they deliver primary care and builds upon curriculum reform efforts to provide training for students.

In July 2014, the Center launched the AIC CARES Initiative—a continuation of the AIC which leverages team-based approaches to care to dramatically improve safety and reduce risk.

AIC CARES Initiative
The AIC CARES Initiative was the continuation of the Academic Innovations Collaborative (AIC), a two-year effort by the Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care and Harvard-affiliated teaching practices. The AIC was designed to transform primary care delivery at local clinics and community health centers. The AIC leveraged team-based approaches to care to dramatically improve safety and reduce risk, and continuously improve quality of care and patient and provider experience, in participating practices. Led by the Center for Primary Care, in partnership with Qualis Health, the CARES Initiative was supported through a partnership with CRICO/Risk Management Foundation. Seven major Harvard hospital affiliates and 20 primary care practices were engaged in this transformational work.

Abundant Health Project
The Systems Transformation team partnered with nonprofit organization FHI360 to provide educational resources and training to improve primary care delivery at participating community health centers in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The year-long project, which concluded in March 2017, focused around these aims:

Aim 1: To increase community ownership and engagement in non-communicable disease (NCD) prevention, management and control.

Aim 2: To create a high functioning team-based model of care delivery at the CHC level for NCD risk stratification, prevention, management and control

The Systems Transformation team’s involvement in the Abundant Health project and partnership with FHI360 allowed the Center to continue its mission to improve primary care globally.

Leadership Academy
Throughout the two years of the AIC CARES Collaborative, a small, multidisciplinary subset of CARES participants known as the Leadership Academy attended alternating monthly calls and in-person “courses” on a variety of topics designed to improve their leadership skills. Providing professional development and leadership training to this cohort was a key element of the AIC’s strategy for long-term sustainability.

Mental Health Integration Initiative
The Alice Rosenwald Mental Health Integration—Improving Lives through Mental Health Integration into Primary Care.

There is a recognized need for the integration of mental health and primary care. Mental disorders affect nearly one in five adults in the US, and cause tremendous suffering and impairment. The majority of those affected do not receive proper, if any, treatment. Integration of mental health into primary care can help close the gap and ensure that patients get the care they deserve.

To do this, primary care and mental health must be coordinated at various levels of care and supported by an encompassing health system development. Primary care providers must be adequately equipped to support mental health work, through assessment, diagnosis, treatment, or referrals. Investment is necessary to catalyze this change, which is why the Center started the Mental Health Integration Initiative in 2014.

The collaborative of seven primary care sites attended quarterly retreats, monthly content calls, and submitted Monthly Transformation Updates to track progress in specific focus areas related to behavioral health integration and process improvement across teams. The two-year collaborative, generously funded by a gift from Alice Rosenwald—a benefactor and advisor for the Center—concluded in December 2016.