3 UM Practices Recognized for Excellence as Medical Homes

Three UHealth practice sites – UHealth at Kendall, UHealth at Palm Beach Gardens and UHealth at Coral Gables – have been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance Patient-Centered Medical Home program for excellence in evidence-based, patient-centered approaches that focus on continuity of care and long-term relationships.

The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH), a model for transforming the organization and delivery of primary care, underlines communication and care coordination to enhance the patient-clinician partnership and improve the quality, safety, efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare in the U.S. Under the model, care is delivered by clinician-led teams that meet the large majority of each patient’s physical and mental healthcare needs by coordinating treatments across the healthcare system. Medical home clinicians and practices demonstrate the benchmark of patient-focused care, including open scheduling, extended hours and appropriate use of proven health information systems.

Cristian Murray, Vice Chair of Community Health and Primary Care Practices, says involving patients in the development of treatment plans is motivational and will lead to improved care.

“Using the UChart System, physicians will be involved in population health management, and will work more closely with patients to coordinate all of their healthcare needs,” Murray said. “We’ve been lucky to have an incredible PCMH implementation team, including Barbara “Bobbie” Preston (manager of business operations, Community Health Delivery Systems), Kelly Hedges (senior practice manager), and Skip Barr (UChart consultant), among others. It is our goal to have all of our primary care practices PCMH-recognized by the end of 2013, and it looks like we are well on our way!”

To receive recognition, which is valid for three years, the practices met the following key components:

  • Written standards for patient access and continuity of care
  • Use of patient feedback materials
  • Appropriate use of charting tools to track patients and organize clinical information
  • Responsive care management techniques with an emphasis on preventive care for individual patients and the entire patient population
  • Adaptation to patients’ cultural and linguistic needs
  • Use of information technology for prescriptions, test and referral tracking and coordination with other healthcare providers
  • Use of evidence-based guidelines to treat chronic conditions
  • Measurement and reporting of clinical and service performance

The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare quality and manages the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set, the most widely used performance measurement tool. NCQA, which accredits and certifies a wide range of healthcare organizations, also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance.

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