Local Learning Collaboratives to Improve Quality for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): From Four Regional Practice-based Research Networks (PBRNs)

J Am Board Fam Med. Sep-Oct 2016;29(5):543-52. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2016.05.160049.


Background: Four practice-based research networks (PBRNs) participated in a project to increase the diffusion of evidence-based treatment guidelines for chronic kidney disease (CKD). A multicomponent organizational intervention engaged regionally proximal primary care practices in a series of facilitated meetings, referred to as local learning collaboratives (LLCs).

Methods: The 2-wave strategy began with 8 practices in each PBRN receiving practice facilitation and subsequently joining an LLC. A sequential mixed-methods design addressed the conduct, content, and fidelity of the intervention; clinicians in 2 PBRNs participated in interviews, and PBRN coordinators reflected on implementation challenges.

Results: LLCs were formed in 3 PBRNs, with 121 monthly meetings held across 20 LLCs. Slightly more than half of the participants were clinicians. Qualitative data suggest that clinicians increased the priority for CKD care, improved knowledge and skills, were satisfied with the project, and attempted to improve care. Implementation challenges were encountered and concerns about sustainability expressed.

Conclusion: While PBRNs can successfully leverage resources to diffuse treatment guidelines, and LLCs are well-accepted by clinical staff, the formation of LLCs was not feasible for 1 PBRN, and others struggled to meet regularly and have performance data available despite logistic support.

Keywords: Chronic Renal Insufficiency; Cooperative Behavior; Learning; Practice-based Research; Primary Health Care.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / standards*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Health Services Research / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Intersectoral Collaboration
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Primary Health Care / standards*
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Regional Medical Programs / standards
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / therapy*
  • Translational Medical Research / organization & administration*