partnership/interdisciplinary care, partnership with university, patient-centered medical home implementation, primary care issues, rural population



  1. Lane, Sandi J. PhD, FACHE
  2. Watkins, R. W. ''Chip'' MD, MPH


This article describes how a facilitation model that included a partnership between a Community Care of North Carolina network and undergraduates at a regional university supported rural primary care practices in transforming their practices to become National Committee for Quality Assurance-recognized patient-centered medical homes. Health care management and preprofessional undergraduate students worked with 14 rural primary care practices to redesign practice processes and complete the patient-centered medical home application. Twelve of the practices participated in the evaluation of the student contribution. A semistructured interview guide containing questions about practice characteristics, student competencies, and the value of the student's contribution to their practice's achievement of patient-centered medical home recognition was used to interview practice managers or their designee. Analysis included item-descriptive statistics and qualitative analysis of narrative content. All 12 participating practices achieved 2011 National Committee for Quality Assurance patient-centered medical home recognition, with 4 practices achieving level 3, 5 practices achieving level 2, and 3 practices achieving level 1. The facilitation model using partnerships between health care agencies and universities might be an option for enhancing a practice's internal capacity for successful transformation and should be explored further.