Thursday, February 23, 2012

What is a CCRMC and Health Centers, Patient-Centered Health Home (PCHH)?
Primary care is a foundation of the health care system.
The The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) standards reflect elements that make primary care successful. Primary care clinicians are often the first point of contact for an individual; thus, patient access to care is an important issue.

Based on the NCQA PCMH standards, CCRMC and our Health Centers are actively moving forward in our design efforts. We will begin our fourth Rapid Improvement Event (Kaizen) to advance the PCHH next week. The team which consists of health workers and patient and family partners who use our system will build on the improvement efforts of their colleagues.

Improving quality of care by organizing care around patients (NCQA)
I'm delighted that NCQA revised their standards to be clearer and more specific about involving patients and family members in improvement and design activities. They acknowledge that "some practices may find the program more challenging."

Here is the update from the NCQA:
Through a comprehensive review of new evidence on effective care practices, NCQA PCMH 2011 Advisory Committee discussions, feedback on our earlier programs and a public comment period, we have taken the program to a new level.
Robust patient centeredness is an important program goal: There is a stronger focus on integrating behavioral healthcare and care management Patient survey results help drive quality improvement Patients and their families are involved in quality improvement. (this is fantastic)
We have added a new, standardized patient experience survey and an accompanying standardized methodology. Practices that use this survey will receive extra credit for doing so. Although this is not required, the survey lays the groundwork for broader reporting and benchmarking and makes data available to PCMH program sponsors across the country. This new survey is a tool to track patients’ ratings of the care they get in the PCMH.
Coordinating care and managing information
Just as patient-centeredness is an integral part of the program, so too is a practice’s ability to track care over time and across settings. The amount of clinical information for some patients—particularly those with chronic illnesses—and the fragmented nature of the U.S. health system make this aspect of primary care challenging. Experts agree that health information technology can help clinicians coordinate patient care, but merely having an electronic health record system in a practice is not enough. The health information system itself must be useful, and practices must use it to achieve the goals of coordination and high quality of care.

Fresh air!

More very soon.

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