Key ingredients for implementing intensive outpatient programs within patient-centered medical homes: A literature review and qualitative analysis

Healthc (Amst). 2016 Mar;4(1):22-9. doi: 10.1016/j.hjdsi.2015.12.005. Epub 2015 Dec 29.


Background: Intensive outpatient programs aim to transform care while conserving resources for high-need, high-cost patients, but little is known about factors that influence their implementation within patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs).

Methods: In this mixed-methods study, we reviewed the literature to identify factors affecting intensive outpatient program implementation, then used semi-structured interviews to determine how these factors influenced the implementation of an intensive outpatient program within the Veterans Affairs' (VA) PCMH. Interviewees included facility leadership and clinical staff who were involved in a pilot Intensive Management Patient Aligned Care Team (ImPACT) intervention for high-need, high-cost VA PCMH patents. We classified implementation factors in the literature review and qualitative analysis using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR).

Results: The literature review (n=9 studies) and analyses of interviews (n=15) revealed key implementation factors in three CFIR domains. First, the Inner Setting (i.e., the organizational and PCMH environment), mostly enabled implementation through a culture of innovation, good networks and communication, and positive tension for change. Second, Characteristics of Individuals, including creativity, flexibility, and interpersonal skills, allowed program staff to augment existing PCMH services. Finally, certain Intervention Characteristics (e.g., adaptability) enabled implementation, while others (e.g., complexity) generated implementation barriers.

Conclusions: Resources and structural features common to PCMHs can facilitate implementation of intensive outpatient programs, but program success is also dependent on staff creativity and flexibility, and intervention adaptations to meet patient and organizational needs.

Implications: Established PCMHs likely provide resources and environments that permit accelerated implementation of intensive outpatient programs.

Level of evidence: V.

Keywords: Implementation; Intensive outpatient program; Patient-centered medical home; Veteran.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Outpatients*
  • Patient Care Team*
  • Patient-Centered Care*
  • Primary Health Care
  • Qualitative Research
  • United States