Working Together: Collaborative Boosts Quality in the Santa Cruz Safety Net

Barbara Palla
Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County


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This is archived content, for historical reference only.

Santa Cruz County safety-net clinics formed a collaborative using the Breakthrough Series (BTS) learning approach to build a coordinated system of high-functioning, patient-centered medical homes. This report describes the collaborative’s experience and includes clinic performance improvement data on access, quality, and efficiency of care.

Transforming safety-net clinics into well-functioning medical homes will become increasingly important as more people become insured and seek health care. At the same time, insurance reimbursement has become linked with patient-centeredness. To address this trend, the Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County (HIP), a coalition of public and private providers, began hosting this learning collaborative in 2011 with funding from the Blue Shield of California Foundation to improve the local safety-net system of care.

Key factors in the Santa Cruz collaborative’s success include:

  • An established cross-sector health care coalition (HIP) serving as collaborative host
  • Participation in the Institute for HealthCare Improvement Triple Aim Learning Initiative
  • Alignment of goals with the Medi-Cal Health Plan Incentive Program
  • Use of the formal BTS structure and of the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative Change Concepts for Practice Transformation
  • Hands-on clinic support for the use of data to drive change

The full report is available under Document Downloads.