Although clinical preventive services (CPS)-screening tests, immunizations, health behavior counseling, and preventive medications-can save lives, Americans receive only half of recommended services. This "prevention gap," if closed, could substantially reduce morbidity and mortality. Opportunities to improve delivery of CPS exist in both clinical and community settings, but these activities are rarely coordinated across these settings, resulting in inefficiencies and attenuated benefits. Through a literature review, semi-structured interviews with 50 national experts, field observations of 53 successful programs, and a national stakeholder meeting, a framework to fully integrate CPS delivery across clinical and community care delivery systems was developed. The framework identifies the necessary participants, their role in care delivery, and the infrastructure, support, and policies necessary to ensure success. Essential stakeholders in integration include clinicians; community members and organizations; spanning personnel and infrastructure; national, state, and local leadership; and funders and purchasers. Spanning personnel and infrastructure are essential to bring clinicians and communities together and to help patients navigate across care settings. The specifics of clinical-community integrations vary depending on the services addressed and the local context. Although broad establishment of effective clinical-community integrations will require substantial changes, existing clinical and community models provide an important starting point. The key policies and elements of the framework are often already in place or easily identified. The larger challenge is for stakeholders to recognize how integration serves their mutual interests and how it can be financed and sustained over time.
© 2013 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. All rights reserved.