Traditional clinical research has focused heavily on determining the efficacy of interventions. On these results, many clinical guidelines have been developed to guide health-care providers. Unfortunately, these studies are often carried out in atypical settings (like a large academic health centers) with a restricted patient population and intensive human and financial resource support. This type of scenario is often quite different than what community health-care providers experience at their practices – where resources are limited, where there is heterogeneity of patients or patients have limited means to proceed with recommended changes or referrals. Thus, the success of many promising interventions is highly variable and most often minimized at the local, community practice level.
Health IMPACTS for Florida was developed to address the need for research and support to translate the evidence-base gained in these “atypical” academic environments to the community practices of Florida. Its central aim is to facilitate a multi-way exchange of information between each community practice and their “peer” practices and between the community practices and the academic centers.
The community-based practices form the foundation of Health IMPACTS for Florida. Each practice participates in multiple roles within each study – serving to both implement new interventions and evaluate the effectiveness of these interventions through reporting and data sharing with the guiding academic institutions. Practice-level and network-level results are developed from these results and guide the modification of these interventions at each practice.
Each community practice will provide a unique perspective into their own community, its patients, and the team providing health-care. In this way, each community practice can both demonstrate the applicability of new practices in their specific context and inform others on how effectiveness can be increased and broadened for an even greater number of patients. More simply, each practice will be the expert in their own implementation and share best practices with the network and its peers. It is for this reason that each practice has a vital role in Health IMPACTS.
As relationships with the community practices and the academic centers develop, our goal is to further expand community capacity for research by linking practice groups and individuals/families with community resources and conducting intervention studies targeted at multiple levels (e.g., neighborhood, family, practice setting, complementing and assisting the effort the effort made the community practices.
Benefits to the providers of Health IMPACTS for Florida
For practices participating in the first two Health IMPACTS for Florida projects, they will receive one to several iPads for aiding in the intervention and data collection. (picture of ipad)
In addition to serving as an investigator on the research project(s) your practice participates in, providers will also be provided with pre-developed Continuing Medical Education modules that complement the project’s interventions. Credit towards your professional licensing will be received for participating in this training. For some projects, American Board of Pediatrics Maintenance of Certification Part 4 Credits will be awarded for participation.
Project Specific Participation
Concussion Study: Providers will utilize a simple, office-based surveillance and detection instrument that will allow state-of-the-art assessment and follow-up of incident cases in Florida youth engaged in organized sports programs.
Adolescent Health Risk Assessments: In the first phase of this project, all practices will complete a survey describing general characteristics of their practice. Each participating health care provider at the practices will also be asked to complete a survey asking about experiences with assessing and counseling adolescents. Several practices will also be selected to participate in provider and staff focus groups, where they will provide insight into how risk behaviors are discussed and addressed with adolescents in their practice and the feasibility of new methods to screen, counsel and refer patients effectively.