• Open Access

Provider's Perspectives on Building Research and Quality Improvement Capacity in Primary Care: A Strategy to Improve Workforce Satisfaction




Safety-net populations are underrepresented in research and quality improvement (QI) studies despite the fact that safety-net providers are uniquely positioned to engage in translational research. This study aimed to understand the current level of interest in, experience with, predicted career satisfaction associated with, and barriers experienced in conducting research and QI among primary care providers (PCPs) at 18 safety-net practices in the Boston, Massachusetts area.


The Harvard Catalyst Safety-net Infrastructure Initiative partnered with staff at a large academic public hospital system, including 15 primary care sites, to develop and administer an online survey. This survey was then adapted and administered at three other academically affiliated community health centers.


Of the 260 providers surveyed, 136 (52%) responded. Nearly 80% reported interest in conducting either QI projects or clinical research and 95% of them believed it would enhance their career satisfaction. However, 63% did not report prior experience or training in research or QI and 93% reported at least one barrier to engagement.


While supporting safety-net PCPs’ engagement in research and/or QI may improve career satisfaction there are numerous barriers that must be addressed to achieve this goal.