Impact of Practice Facilitation in Primary Care on Chronic Disease Care Processes and Outcomes: a Systematic Review

Andrew Wang*, Teresa Pollack, Lauren A. Kadziel, Samuel M. Ross, Megan McHugh, Neil Jordan, Abel N. Kho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: More than 100 million individuals in the USA have been diagnosed with a chronic disease, yet chronic disease care has remained fragmented and of inconsistent quality. Improving chronic disease management has been challenging for primary care and internal medicine practitioners. Practice facilitation provides a comprehensive approach to chronic disease care. The objective is to evaluate the impact of practice facilitation on chronic disease outcomes in the primary care setting. Methods: This systematic review examined North American studies from PubMed, EMBASE, and Web of Science (database inception to August 2017). Investigators independently extracted and assessed the quality of the data on chronic disease process and clinical outcome measures. Studies implemented practice facilitation and reported quantifiable care processes and patient outcomes for chronic disease. Each study and their evidence were assessed for risk of bias and quality according to the Cochrane Collaboration and the Grade Collaboration tool. Results: This systematic review included 25 studies: 12 randomized control trials and 13 prospective cohort studies. Across all studies, practices and their clinicians were aware of the implementation of practice facilitation. Improvements were observed in most studies for chronic diseases including asthma, cancer (breast, cervical, and colorectal), cardiovascular disease (cerebrovascular disease, coronary artery disease, dyslipidemia, hypertension, myocardial infarction, and peripheral vascular disease), and type 2 diabetes. Mixed results were observed for chronic kidney disease and chronic illness care. Discussion: Overall, the results suggest that practice facilitation may improve chronic disease care measures. Across all studies, practices were aware of practice facilitation. These findings lend support for the potential expansion of practice facilitation in primary care. Future work will need to investigate potential opportunities for practice facilitation to improve chronic disease outcomes in other health care settings (e.g., specialty and multi-specialty practices) with standardized measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1968-1977
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • chronic disease
  • practice facilitation
  • primary care
  • quality improvement
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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