A Plan for Useful and Timely Family Medicine and Primary Care Research

Fam Med. 2015 Sep;47(8):636-42.


Our nation's health care system is changing. Nowhere is this more evident than in primary care, where fundamental improvements are necessary if we are to achieve the Triple Aim. Such improvements are possible if we can put useful and timely information into the hands of stakeholders to enable practical decision-making. To do this, family medicine and primary care researchers need to (1) build on our substantial current research foundation, (2) increase the relevance and pace of our research, (3) reconceive the research workforce to engage new partners, (4) disseminate findings more rapidly into the hands of those who can take action, and (5) build a "question-ready" research infrastructure to make this possible. Family medicine researchers face exciting opportunities: technical capacity to generate and manage large amounts of data; clinic- and system-level networks for testing innovations; digital health technologies for real-time and asynchronous monitoring and management of risk factors and chronic diseases; the know-how to make fast, local improvements in our systems of care; partnerships beyond those traditionally engaged in research that can multiply our capacity to generate new knowledge; and new methods for creating generalizable knowledge from the study of local efforts. This is a historic time for family medicine research. Now is the time to build on our past work, accelerate the pace, and capitalize on emerging opportunities that open an incredibly bright future.

MeSH terms

  • Checklist
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Family Practice / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Organizational Culture
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Research / organization & administration*
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors