UR Medicine’s Center for Primary Care and Golisano Children’s Hospital have been nationally re-certified at the highest level for using evidenced-based, patient-centric processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term relationships between patients and their health care providers.
The Patient-Centered Medical Home Level 3 designation, announced by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, was earned by 22 adult primary care practices and four pediatric practices.
Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is a model of care that emphasizes communication and care coordination for patients both inside and outside medical offices. By continuously providing detailed information to and communicating with patients throughout their care — rather than interacting with them solely when they are sick and attending appointments — hospitals can provide higher-quality treatment at lower costs and improve the health of their patients.
The practices had previously earned the designation under PCMH 2008 standards. The updated PCMH 2011 standards were more demanding in several areas.
“Medical Home certification verifies the good care that we’ve been giving for a number of years,” said Neil Herendeen, M.D., leader of the children’s hospital’s medical home transformation team. “We’ve set and achieved new goals on how to do things more efficiently, but at the heart of all this is just good patient care.”
This achievement is truly a team effort by the health care team and its physicians, clinical care managers, data coordinators, practice managers, clinical staff, and clerical support staff, said Wallace Johnson, M.D., director of the Center for Primary Care. “We are focused on treating the whole patient and providing the tools and support each needs to improve their health for the long-term.”
The PCMH philosophy empowers patients to set their own goals and work to achieve them. For example, a pediatric patient with asthma can decide to do a better job of avoiding allergens, removing dust from their living spaces, or taking their medication more consistently, and clinicians can then provide support for the patient to achieve those goals. On the adult side, providers and care managers have focused on chronic health issues such as hypertension, helping patients to manage the condition through education, follow-up calls and e-mails, and a strong support system.
Care providers at the children’s hospital designed and prioritized 47 measures of outcomes that they examined on a daily basis and proactively sought out patients that ranked as high priorities.
The adult Primary Care Network saw significant improvement in metrics around the care of diabetic and hypertensive and coronary artery disease patients in its first full year under the Medical Home model.
The certification acknowledges the adult and pediatric practices’ efforts to enhance patient access through portals such as MyChart. The program’s key elements also include the management of patient populations and the use of charting tools to track patients and organize clinical information.
The recognition is valid for three years.