Last month we learned about selecting practice transformation partners, today we focus on the assessment process. 

Transformation begins with an assessment. This important step applies to any transformation process, regardless of a practice’s transformation experience, the assessment is key. It evaluates a practice’s current state of implementation of the selected model. It is critical to determine gaps in performance and is used in conjunction with other key performance indicators to help teams align efforts and prioritize work. 

The most accurate assessments are conducted by the Practice Facilitator to ensure not only a clear understanding of the model and terms, but also a safe environment to support different perspectives and robust discussion. 

Learn what some practices are saying about their assessment experience. 

HTW:  Your practice has been involved in formal practice transformation for a number of years, you recently completed an assessment, what value did that process bring to your transformation work?

Grace Nweke, MD Sunrise Health Care: “The assessment was comprehensive and provided a good picture of how we are currently doing. We’ve made some changes in response to COVD-19 and it is helpful to reassess our operations now.” 

HTW:  Your practice is new to formal practice transformation, you recently completed an assessment, what value did that process bring to your transformation work?

Melissa Graham, IT and Data Coordinator, Boulder Valley Women’s’ Health Center: ” The assessment helped our practice identify issues that we were inadvertently blind to, by that I mean that we would complete a project and think that we had done our homework, but when we were asked a series of in depth questions about the process it forced us to look at our processes in ways that we had not accounted for.”

HTW:  How do you use that information in developing your strategic focus?

Melissa Graham, IT and Data Coordinator, Boulder Valley Women’s’ Health Center: “As a practice we are beginning to realize that we had no strategic focus prior to the Innovation Support Project (ISP). We are slowly awakening to the idea that we have been operating in crisis mode. It has been tough, and some of us are seeing it sooner than others, which can be frustrating to both sides, but we are beginning to plan a future instead of being mired down by the present.” 

Grace Nweke, MD, Sunrise Health Care: “We are a small independent practice involved in many initiatives and programs, including a large Medicare Project. I analyzed our current performance and the results of our assessment; establishing key priorities to improve. Then our QI Team worked with HTW’s Practice Facilitator to develop our top three goals. I can’t look at just one program at a time, I have to see the big picture and align our efforts. We have limited resources and must be as efficient as possible.” 

HTW:  What value does your Practice Facilitator bring to the assessment process?

Melissa Graham, IT and Data Coordinator, Boulder Valley Women’s’ Health Center: “HTW’s Practice Facilitator keeps us focused on the task at hand. As a practice we get distracted easily because we all want to make things better quickly, but we move onto newly identified problems too rapidly and without follow up, our Practice Facilitator forces us (in a nice way) to stay focused so that we actually accomplish the transformation, instead of just identifying the problem and then moving on with no real solution in place.” 

Kristin Martin, Practice Administrator, The Family Practice: “We used a tool with our coach (HTW's Practice Facilitator) to decide which projects were going to make the biggest impact when implemented here in the practice. This allowed us to set tangible goals in moving forward.”  

One HealthTeamWorks Senior Practice Facilitator shares; Following the assessment phase, I like to review all gaps and have teams complete the HealthTeamWorks prioritization table (QI Tool). During that exercise I support alignment with other initiatives (they are involved in) while being cognizant of capacity and change management.

In summary, regardless of the practice transformation project it begins with an assessment to determine current state identifying strengths and opportunities. Practices must align their transformation work with all initiatives, prioritize their focus and be strategic in their approach to this work. 

Our team of Practice Facilitators has over 67 combined years of experience and identified the following accelerants to successful practice transformation. 

  • An effective transformation team includes an identified clinical lead, an operations lead, and diverse representation from members of the practice team.

  • Team meets regularly (ideally scheduled twice a month).

  • Team uses agendas and notes to support focus and accountability.

  • Team shares work transparently with the entire practice team including ways to contribute to the work and provide feedback.

  • Team uses QI tools and data to drive work.

  • Team works with a Practice Facilitator to navigate the implementation/refinement of advanced primary care providing guidance, support, resources, and accountability.


Next month we will expand on these accelerants and learn about some of the challenges teams are facing.


Resources and more information: 

HealthTeamWorks Solutions Center
Join HealthTeamWorks Solutions Center, a platform that convenes like-minded individuals for collaborative learning and innovation to advance healthcare transformation. You will have access to guides, tools (such as the prioritization table mentioned in the blog), templates, and videos to support your quality improvement and transformation projects.  
For more information and to register, please go to:

HealthTeamWorks’ NCQA Recognition Consulting
HealthTeamWorks offers support for Primary Care and Specialty Practices seeking NCQA recognition with services and tools including a full documentation review gap analysis to build the groundwork for practice transformation and advanced specialty care. 
For more information, please go to:

HealthTeamWorks’ Practice Transformation Support
HealthTeamWorks’ model of Practice Transformation captures more than twenty years of organizational experience gained training hundreds of practices to improve their work and optimize patients’ experience of care. Our approach builds on the existing strengths of practices and advances networks toward achieving the Quadruple Aim and including a fifth aim of optimizing business processes. The 5-Point Aims are increased clinical quality, lowered costs, improved patient experience, workplace satisfaction, and thriving healthcare businesses.
For more information, please go to: