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CMC-Elizabeth Family Medicine Receives Family Practice Management Award for Practice Improvement

December 5, 2014—The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine congratulates the CMC-Elizabeth Family Medicine clinic in Charlotte, NC for receiving the 2014 Family Practice Management Award for Practice Improvement at the Conference on Practice Improvement in Tampa, FL. Family Practice Management Medical Editor Kenneth Adler, MD, MMM, presented the award to the clinic’s medical director, M. Quentin Fité, MD.

CMC-Elizabeth Family Medicine was recognized for its LEAN transformation—a method to improve efficiency by eliminating waste and understanding what parts of the operation create value for patients and staff.

CMC-Elizabeth Family Medicine is an urban practice in the Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS). In 2012 the practice became the first pilot site for the ambulatory LEAN transformation project at CHS.

“We were the first practice to conduct a full LEAN immersion to essentially reconstruct how we did business based on patient-focused value stream mapping and elimination of non-value added waste,” states Dr Fité. “It was the systematic, wholesale reorganization of our practice to become more patient-centered.”

The clinic implemented practice-wide changes that decreased expenses, increased patient satisfaction scores and patient visit volume and contact, and improved performance in all system-targeted metrics involving population health and chronic disease outcomes.

 “For us, it was a way to encourage a group of high performing providers, nurses, and staff to band together to look at solving problems in a collaborative, focused manner," explains Dr Fité.

To sustain the LEAN changes, the practice established of a culture of change, inclusive of all staff, faculty, and residents. The practice fostered a team environment of mutual trust and respect, and created a focus on value proposition for patients, giving everyone a sense of common purpose. 

"It has been my extreme pleasure to watch our staff be transformed from a disconnected group of professionals who tended to wait on the ‘leadership’ to fix problems to a team who has learned to proactively evaluate, problem solve, and offer solutions…without waiting on anyone to do so,” states Dr Fité.

This Family Practice Management award for Practice Improvement, sponsored by the Family Practice Management journal, is offered annually to a primary care practice or practice organization that has made significant improvement in one or more of the following in the past 3 calendar years: clinical outcomes, clinical process improvement, patient satisfaction, staff satisfaction, physician satisfaction, and practice efficiency and productivity.

The Conference on Practice Improvement is held annually by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. The next conference will be December 3-6 in Dallas, TX. For more information, visit

Copyright 2018 by Society of Teachers of Family Medicine