Michael Parchman, MD, MPH

“My goal as a KPWHRI investigator and MacColl Center director is to help small practices and safety net clinics use the Chronic Care Model to meet community health needs.”

Michael L. Parchman, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Director, MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation


Michael Parchman is a nationally recognized scholar in chronic illness care research and the director of Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI)’s MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation. Dr. Parchman joined the KPWHRI faculty as a senior investigator in 2010, assuming the role previously held by MacColl Director Emeritus Ed Wagner, MD, MPH.

A family practitioner and  health services researcher, Dr. Parchman previously served as the director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN) Initiative and senior advisor for primary care. He has worked extensively with the Chronic Care Model—which Kaiser Permanente Washington pioneered and the MacColl Center developed and disseminated  worldwide.

One of Dr. Parchman’s unique contributions has been using complexity science to explore how diverse health care teams can work together to achieve high-quality care. “Traditional statistical and research methods assume linear and repeatable patterns,” he explains. “However, complex systems like health care delivery sites do not act in that way. A different type of inquiry is required.”

Before joining AHRQ in 2010, Dr. Parchman served as the Mario E. Ramirez Endowed  Distinguished Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. While in San Antonio, Dr. Parchman was also a director of the South Texas Ambulatory Research Network, a PBRN comprising primary care offices and clinics across South Texas. He also directed the PBRN Resource Center within the Community Engagement Program at the Institute for the Integration of Medicine and Science, sponsored by a Clinical Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health.


Research interests and experience

  • Health Services & Economics

    Primary care organization and design; quality of  primary care; implementation science

  • Chronic Illness Management

    Diabetes care; Chronic Care Model implementation

  • Cardiovascular Health

    Cardiovascular risk factors and organization of primary care delivery

  • Complexity Science

    Using a complex adaptive systems approach to improve outcomes and quality in primary care


Recent publications

Ferris R, Blaum C, Kiwak E, Austin J, Esterson J, Harkless G, Oftedahl G, Parchman M, Van Ness PH, Tinetti ME. Perspectives of patients, clinicians, and health system leaders on changes needed to improve the health care and outcomes of older adults with multiple chronic conditions. J Aging Health. February1, 2017.https://doi.org/10.1177/0898264317691166.

Parchman ML, Von Korff M, Baldwin LM, Stephens M, Ike B, Cromp D, Hsu C, Wagner EH. Primary care clinic re-design for prescription opioid management. J Am Board Fam Med. 2017 1/2;30(1):44-51. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2017.01.160183. PubMed

Parchman ML, Henrikson NB, Blasi PR, Buist DS, Penfold R, Austin B, Ganos EH. Taking action on overuse: creating the culture for change. Healthc (Amst). 2016 Nov 10. pii: S2213-0764(16)30167-1. doi: 10.1016/j.hjdsi.2016.10.005. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Noël PH, Jones S, Parchman ML. Patient experience in an era of primary care transformation: revisiting the PACIC. Eur J Pers Cent Healthc. 2016;4(3):528-540. PubMed


Primary Care

Why isn’t my patient getting better? The answer may lie outside the clinic

From MacColl Center's Implementing Innovations into Practice dissemination platform: Stanford Health Care's Dr. Alan Glaseroff gives practical advice for helping your patients better manage chronic illness by recognizing childhood experiences and the social factors that influence health.

Read it in Implementing Innovations into Practice.

KPWHRI In the Media

Chronic illness management

Study aims to reduce painkiller abuse via primary care

Yakima Herald, March 9, 2017

healthy findings blog

Stop! In the name of health—lessening low-value care

MacColl engages teams to ‘de-implement’ needless tests and treatments, doing less overused low-value care that might harm patients.

Read it in News and Events.