Retention: building a patient-centered medical home in HIV primary care through PUFF (Patients Unable to Follow-up Found)

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2012 Aug;23(3 Suppl):81-95. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2012.0139.


Here, we describe our patient-centered medical home (PCMH) quality improvement retention project conducted by a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Ryan White-funded Primary Care HIV clinic. The single urban academic clinic serving 2,776 active HIV positive patients identified 25.8% (716/2,776) patients who had not been retained in care within the prior six months during two separate six-month interval analyses. Multiple modalities including a retention specialist, a secure clinic phone message line, algorithms, flyers, brochures, database, and staff education were built to facilitate re-engagement. The project located 87.7% (628/716) patients who had not been retained. The retention specialist was directly responsible for the return of 16.2% (116/716) patients. Results from the project demonstrated that a formalized approach is a necessary component to effective retention efforts. We believe that this work will provide a strategic framework for the development of randomized control trials to formally evaluate an HIV retention intervention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • HIV Infections / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Lost to Follow-Up
  • Patient-Centered Care / organization & administration*
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies