Jamestown Family Health Clinic recently completed the Six Building Blocks program, a process aimed at improving clinic management of patients who are on long-term opioid therapy.
While change is never easy, and the topic of chronic opioid therapy isn’t exactly the lightest of subjects, Jamestown Family Health Clinic took a creative approach to engage their clinicians and staff in the adoption and implementation of the Six Building Blocks to improve opioid management.
What are the Six Building Blocks?
The Six Building Blocks is a program that supports a team-based care approach to improving opioid management in primary care. The program offers system-based changes and practice transformation to improve opioid management in a clinic setting. The best practices encompassed in the Six Building Blocks were learned from other clinics. The program was tested on 6 organizations and 20 clinics across Washington and Idaho. Six Building Blocks team member, Laura Mae Baldwin shares, “every clinic that we have worked with that adopts the Six Building Blocks components and practices—succeeds […] clinics report that it improves their comfort and confidence in caring for patients using long term opioid therapy and their relationships with the patients.”
Better Understanding Patient Populations
Jamestown Family Health Clinic began their journey through the Six Building Blocks with the desire to identify and better understand the population of patients using long-term opioid therapy (LtOT).
Not only has the Six Building Blocks helped them implement tangible approaches to increase their understanding of the patient population with LtOT, but it has provided them with a template for success that expands beyond the task at hand. The first Building Block focuses on leadership and consensus. Holly Joyce, Project Manager for the Six Building Blocks at Jamestown Family Health Clinic, shares how “the entire staff was actively engaged and had the opportunity to have a role within [the Six Building Blocks program]." This Building Block encompasses the whole staff, ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
Another unexpected result of the Six Building Blocks was that it opened the door to new conversations, ultimately leading to safer and more effective patient care. Jamestown Family Health Clinic is now engaging patients in conversations surrounding safe storage of medications, in hopes of preventing them from falling into the wrong hands. Joyce explained how prior to Six Building Blocks those conversations were not so forward facing and created a larger initiative. The integration of the Six Building Blocks best practices has resulted in an improvement in care that goes beyond the initial goals.
Making Transformation Fun
Practice Facilitator Brooke Ike shared, “They are a tremendously creative and enthusiastic clinic. They really thought about this work in innovative ways.” To engage the entire staff, Jamestown Family Health Clinic incorporated trivia, crosswords, pod competitions, and even seating charts to mix things up and get people excited about a topic that can be heavy and challenging. They brought together their clinicians and staff quarterly to celebrate successes and brainstorm challenges.
Jamestown Family Health Clinic fully embraced all that the Six Building Blocks offered and did it in a way that invited people to actively engage with the information. Change is hard, but providing interactive and fun approaches to transformation allowed for greater participation and adoption.
Ike shares how “getting to know and see people like Holly, who are out in the field and so passionate about helping others and doing it in totally unique ways, is what draws me to this type of work. It’s a lot of fun to come with foundational ideas and really help clinics themselves figure out what’s going to work best for them.”
Jamestown Family Health Clinic’s completion of the Six Building Blocks program is a regional success. We look forward to learning more from their creativity as they continue sustaining these approaches.
Are you a clinic in the Olympic region and considering the Six Building Blocks? Contact OCH@olympicch.org for more information about how we can support you through the Six Building Blocks program.
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