Connecticut Institute for Primary Care Innovation Opens

The collaborative enterprise between the UConn School of Medicine and Saint Francis Hospital is part of Bioscience Connecticut. (Thinkstock Photo)
The collaborative enterprise between the UConn School of Medicine and St. Francis Hospital is part of Bioscience Connecticut. (Thinkstock Photo)
The collaborative enterprise between the UConn School of Medicine and St. Francis Hospital is part of Bioscience Connecticut. (Thinkstock Photo)

The Connecticut Institute for Primary Care Innovation (CIPCI), an integral part of Bioscience Connecticut, officially opened today in Hartford. The Institute is a collaboration between the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

The Institute is based in a newly dedicated and completely redesigned facility, The Innovation + Learning Center at St. Francis, which also includes state-of-the-art conference and training rooms, research space, and the Health Sciences Library.

“We believe that – by conducting research on health care delivery systems, developing partnerships, and optimizing educational opportunities for both trainees and current providers – CIPCI can become a regional and national resource to enhance primary care,” said Christopher Dadlez, president and chief executive officer, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

“We are dedicated to facilitating efficient, effective, integrated communication between primary care physicians, community and hospital-based specialists, and allied-health professionals, so together, they can better serve patients,” said Dr. Frank Torti, executive vice president for health affairs of the UConn Health Center and dean of the UConn School of Medicine.

While CIPCI will not directly deliver health care services to patients, the ultimate focus is on helping patients by:

  • Improving primary care education for medical students, residents, and other providers
  • Increasing retention of primary care trainees and providers
  • Conducting groundbreaking research on the best ways to deliver primary care
  • Providing service to the community of practicing primary care providers by helping them keep pace with change

St. Francis was awarded $5 million by the state to develop CIPCI under the auspices of Bioscience Connecticut. The money is part of $25 million in funds for the improvement of multiple hospitals and health centers in the Hartford area. Governance of CIPCI is shared jointly by St. Francis and UConn School of Medicine; leaders from both organizations are represented on the governing board.

“This funding has allowed us to create a unique venue for providers, patients, researchers, organizational experts, and other stakeholders to collaboratively design a system of care that delivers value in everyday practice,” said Gregory Makoul, St. Francis’ senior vice president for innovation and chief academic officer, and professor of medicine at the UConn School of Medicine. “We can help make Connecticut a model for working toward sustainable, coordinated primary care.”

The CIPCI space includes:

  • A collaborative theater to support teaching and training for clinicians and their teams
  • A simulation studio with a flexible floor plan for patient flow and office redesign analyses, as well as simulations to improve procedural skills, communication and teamwork
  • Multiple locations for interactive learning, debriefing and high-definition videoconferencing
    • Leading dialogue that builds relationships and enables local and national networks to work together to design, test, and disseminate innovation

“Effective use of health information technology will be a key focus of CIPCIactivities. Information technology can help physicians keep real-time track of what their patients are doing in terms of prevention and treatment,” said Dr. Crystal L. Clark, director of CIPCI. “True innovation brings value. One of the properties of CIPCI is a commitment to results that matter to patients, providers, and the community.”

CIPCI is staffed by section leaders who will spearhead work in education, research, informatics, and outreach. An advisory board composed of leaders from primary care practices, educational institutions, and government agencies is in place to provide interdisciplinary perspectives that will guide the Institute’s initiatives. A Primary Care Policy Council, made up of representatives from large employers, insurers, foundations, and academia has also been established to provide national perspectives on relevant issues and help CIPCI remain at the forefront of primary care.

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