AHEC - North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program
Touched by an AHEC: Stories from 100 Counties
Robert Ferrall, MD, FAAP

Robert Ferrall, MD, FAAP

Wake County | Wake AHEC

Robert Ferrall, MD, FAAP

“Our practice has always prided itself in providing excellent care and always looking for ways to improve that care,” said Robert Ferrall, MD, FAAP, from Western Wake Pediatrics in Cary, NC. Ferrall’s practice is participating in North Carolina’s Improving Performance in Practice (IPIP) program, focusing on improving asthma management. Lynne Taylor, Wake AHEC’s quality improvement consultant, works with Ferrall’s staff at Western Wake Pediatrics in Cary, NC through IPIP and AHEC’s statewide quality initiatives.

Ferrall continues: “I saw it as a way of developing tools within the practice and a practice philosophy that could be used to implement positive changes in any area of the practice. It was an added bonus that this activity could also be used to satisfy the Performance in Practice portion of Maintenance of Credit (MOC).” The MOC program is an initiative of the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) put in place to help physicians demonstrate their ongoing commitment to professional development and providing the highest quality of patient care.

IPIP is designed as a state-based approach that supports efforts by primary care physicians, including internists, family physicians and pediatricians and their care teams, to improve the way chronic illness and preventive care is provided to patients. The program is a national effort that was initially supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and is a collaborative effort among the American Board of Family Medicine, ABP, American Board of Internal Medicine as well as their professional societies. North Carolina and Colorado were chosen as the two pilot states for IPIP. There are three major components of the program: 1) the on-site consulting provided to the practices by the NC AHEC program; 2) the tools, resources and data reporting on a secure, web-based portal; and 3) interactive dinner meetings for practices to attend and share their learning and experiences with other practices.

“The creation of the IPIP program in North Carolina several years ago was a wonderful development,” noted Greg Randolph, MD, MPH. “Pediatricians are passionate about providing the best possible care for their patients. The IPIP program is a tremendous resource for helping us make continuous improvements in care for our patients.” Randolph is associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Major partners in North Carolina include the NC Academy of Family Physicians, the NC Pediatric Society, Community Care of North Carolina, The Carolina Center for Medical Excellence, and NC AHEC.