Staff and Clinician Work-Life Perceptions after Implementing Systems-Based Improvements to Opioid Management

J Am Board Fam Med. 2019 Sep-Oct;32(5):715-723. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2019.05.190027.


Background: The Six Building Blocks Program is an evidence-based approach to primary care redesign for opioid management among patients with chronic pain. This analysis assesses the impact of implementing the Six Building Blocks on the work-life of primary care providers and staff.

Methods: Six rural and rural-serving primary care organizations with 20 clinic locations implemented the Six Building Blocks with support from a practice facilitator, clinical experts, and an informatics specialist. After 15 months of support, interviews and focus groups were conducted with staff and clinicians in each organization to stimulate reflection on the process and outcomes of implementing the Six Building Blocks Program. Transcripts of interviews and focus groups were coded and analyzed using template analysis. Once a set of themes was agreed on, the primary qualitative analyst revisited the source data to confirm that they accurately reflected the data.

Results: Overall, implementing the Six Building Blocks improved provider and staff work-life experience. Reported improvements to work-life included increased confidence and comfort in care provided to patients with long-term opioid therapy, increased collaboration among clinicians and staff, improved ability to respond to external administrative requests, improved relationships with patients using long-term opioid therapy, and an overall decrease in stress.

Conclusions: Clinicians and staff reported improvement in their work-life after implementing the Six Building Blocks Program to improve opioid medication management. Further research is needed on patient experiences specific to practice redesign programs.

Keywords: Chronic Pain; Family Physicians; Focus Groups; Opioids; Primary Health Care; Qualitative Research; Quality Improvement.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Rural Health Services


  • Analgesics, Opioid