Background: The problem this project aims to solve is that physician assistants (PAs) are not fully using patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) findings in their patient interactions. There are three main reasons for this problem: limited awareness on the value of PCOR findings; limited training on tailored strategies for using PCOR findings in practice; and limited access to targeted, curated, and relevant PCOR findings.
Proposed Solution to the Problem: The solution is promoting PCOR and its value to PAs, developing training on how PAs incorporate research into clinical decision-making, and enhancing pathways for future dissemination of PCOR findings to PAs across the United States. The program materials will be freely available and promoted across various American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA) channels, thus increasing awareness of PCOR and its value in treating patients. This solution will help improve the infrastructure needed for future dissemination of PCOR findings.
Objectives: The primary objective is to increase PA awareness, training, and access to PCOR research findings. In conjunction with AAPA’s focus on promoting and addressing AAPA’s National Health Priorities (NHP), this project will integrate PCOR research into NHP education and promotion initiatives. The pilot implementation will focus on disseminating mental health research findings of highest relevance to PA patient populations, but the broader objective is to build a replicable structure that will allow for future scaling to align PCOR findings with all of AAPA’s NHPs.
Activities: The key activities will be guided by input from PAs and subject matter expert (SME) faculty teaching evidence-based medicine courses. During the discovery phase, AAPA will gather feedback on tailored strategies for dissemination and work internally to identify PCORI studies related to NHPs. During the development phase, AAPA will create a Continuing Medical Education (CME) activity, establish a PCOR presence on the AAPA website, and design a marketing awareness campaign. In the Pilot phase, AAPA will receive feedback on pathways for dissemination of mental health PCOR findings, measure engagement with PCOR CME, and increase promotion of the PCOR landing page. Lastly, AAPA will field a post-CME survey and a post-engagement member survey and analyze evaluation metrics to continue preparations for ongoing dissemination.
Projected Outcomes and Outputs:
Short-term outcomes during the project period include: Increased awareness of, training on, and access to PCOR findings among PAs, improved mapping of PCORI research to AAPA’s NHPs, understanding of best dissemination pathways for PCOR findings to PAs, and a replicable model for future active dissemination of PCOR to the PA community.
Deliverables will include a PA- and SME-informed PCOR CME, PCOR landing page on AAPA website, and integrated PCOR findings on the Mental Health National Health Priority web page.
Medium-term outcomes (0-2 years post-project period) include: Expansion of dissemination efforts to additional PCOR topics and target patient populations, monitoring of PCOR CME uptake and continued promotion of PCOR through AAPA channels, and integration of learnings from the survey and focus groups into AAPA’s broader education and website initiatives.
Long-term outcomes (3+ years post-project period) include: PAs having a stronger familiarity with patient centered outcomes research and using PCOR findings more regularly in their clinical practice and decision making.
Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: The target stakeholders are PAs who are important for integrating PCORI’s evidence-based practices into clinical settings with patients. While PAs are the primary stakeholder for this project, other stakeholders will have the opportunity to engage with this project as well. Content on the AAPA website and CME activities are freely available. The efforts to build capacity for dissemination of PCOR findings will reach all users of the AAPA website and participants of CME activities, including clinicians, PA students, researchers, and other healthcare professionals. PAs on-staff at AAPA and subject matter expert faculty that teach evidence-based medicine courses were involved in the development of this project concept to help shape the approach and ensure intended outcomes would be beneficial to PAs and their patients. PAs will be involved throughout the execution of this project, ensuring PAs receive actionable insights on PCOR findings to incorporate into their practice.
Project Collaborators: AAPA will be the primary organization involved in this project, with support from AAPA members who are PAs across the United States.