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Practical Playbook connects health projects and health care providers

Healthcare professionals now have easy access to information.
Healthcare professionals now have easy access to information.

On March 5, 2014, the de Beaumont Foundation, Duke Community and Family Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched A Practical Playbook: Public Health & Primary Care Together, a new website designed to promote and facilitate collaborative health projects between public health officers and primary care providers.

In the first month, A Practical Playbook has been met with high praise, even as project team members work behind the scenes to enhance functionality and add even more content to its list of 700+ resources.

Dr. Michael McGinnis, a senior scholar at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Executive Director of the IOM Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven Health Care, framed A Practical Playbook as the necessary follow up to the 2012 IOM Report on Integration. "The 2012 report sponsored by the federal Centers for Disease Control, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and developed by the Institute of Medicine was not merely a statement of the facts and not merely a description of the possible. It was a mandate and this Playbook is therefore not optional."

Dr. Jose Montero, Director of New Hampshire's Division of Public Health Services, described the Playbook as "visionary," saying, "We are going to use this Playbook to advance [the] integration of public health and health care," allowing both public health and primary care to "create [the] system of health that we should have."

Dr. Julie Wood, Vice President of Health of the Public and Science at the American Academy of Family Physicians, similarly characterized the Playbook as a necessary tool for public health and primary care, stating, "This Playbook answers the calls that have been placed in the past at a fundamental and foundational level, something that we can actually use and hit the ground running this time."

Claude-Alix Jacob, MPH, the Chief Public Health Officer for the City of Cambridge and a board member at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) described the Playbook as filling the need for a system to help public health officials prioritize their efforts. "Local public health has had to become even more nimble in making use of limited resources... [The Practical Playbook] is an opportunity to represent local health departments as collaborators, and not competitors."

Still in its first month, the Practical Playbook is already being widely disseminated. It has received more than 6,500 visits from almost 5,000 unique visitors. Even more importantly, it's being put to use.

Amy Lee, a professor of Family and Community Medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University, is already incorporating the Practical Playbook into her course. She wrote, "The framework presented by the Practical Playbook fit perfectly into a class, Community Experience, which I teach to an interprofessional class of medical and pharmacy students... I have incorporated the Playbook into the syllabus for students to see that our class exercise is based on existing "practical" practice principles!"

As the Playbook continues to grow, Steering Committee and Project Team members will be embarking on an ambitious road show with the Playbook to advance public health and primary care integration. They will be conducting seminars and workshops at conferences throughout the United States in 2014 and 2015.

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