started primarycareshrink.com about 4 years ago as the result of the most obvious difficulty I was facing in
developing a primary care behavioral health service (PCBH) at a Federally
Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Chicago, IL: I couldn't find anyone to hire on.
this was also the time when iTunes and other Mac software were providing a
unique opportunity to technology novices like me - the ability to reach large
numbers of people with websites, blogs and podcasts. My goal was to, at the very least, contribute
to the growing web presence of PCBH and in so doing perhaps stimulate students
and early career professionals to consider developing skills in this area. Remember that at the time a search of PCBH
related terms yielded a whole lot of nothing - at least not that which was
relevant to PCBH and certainly not to the model of care I was working in, Behavioral Health Consultation (with one exception
being Dr. Blount's website, integratedprimarycare.com).
even more so today technology must play a role in developing a workforce. As a consultant to clinics in various states
I know there are jobs out there - some of which simply need to be created by
knocking on the door of the clinic. My
current position as director of a PCBH program at an FQHC in
Madison, WI started out just that way. There was no job posting - I just knocked on
the door and said: "I can do this.
Do you want me to do it here?"
And 4 years later we have a robust PCBH program with 3 other staff
psychologists. The point being that we
need to develop workers with skills and predisposition to work in integrated
care models. At present most everyone
I'm open to ideas. What role can
technology play in developing the workforce?
I think we're going to have to think outside the box on this one. For example, one of the things I do to train
folks is use video-conferencing software to provide
training/ supervision. Another is the
use of GoogleDocs where trainees in other cities post their SOAP notes and I provide commentary
to refine writing and case conceptualization skills. But we have to think scale here, especially
with the likely expansion of primary care via the health reform legislation. In about 8+ years in PCBH I've managed to
train nearly 40 professionals, but even if all of us did the same we would not
meet the need for BHCs.
would consider the following functions as core to any future technological
approaches to training:
means of rapidly disseminating data from small centers/ clinics to
incrementally move evidence-base (think quick and easy form submission)
education modules from experts that help categorize types of PCBH and identify
video-conferencing to rapidly connect professionals in mini-conferences (think
Skype, but within the one portal where data from the mini-conferences can be
housed and archived)
for hosting larger forums for audiences that can check in for a live-stream
conference and also interact with presenters
Wikipedia-like article section where contributors refine concepts over time
for professionals to shop for more intensive consultation, supervision, books,
proprietary PDF downloads, etc.
basic idea, I think, is to be able to duplicate what we all get at the annual
CFHA conference for 365 days of the year, and be able to share data and
knowledge in incremental and economically efficient ways. There are hundreds of conversations we all
have with each other that others would benefit from and many small projects and
data collection efforts that have value, especially in aggregate. If this makes sense to you, I'd love to hear from
you. What other ideas do you have?