IACH clinics earn national recognition
Story by: IACH PUBLIC AFFAIRS
After several years of hard work, Irwin Army Community Hospital, Custer Hill and Farrelly Primary Care Clinic have been recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, or NCQA, as a Level 3 Army patient-centered medical home, or PCMH.
The NCQA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. Since its founding in 1990, NCQA has been a central figure in driving health improvement throughout the health care system.
As part of the recognition process, NCQA reviewed hundreds of documents submitted by IACH, Custer Hill and Farrelly Primary Care Clinic staff that provided fact-based evidence the clinic was conducting business as a true medical home.
"NCQA recognition is an important step in the continued development of the patient-centered medical home concept here at IACH and validates our PCMH as national-level quality patient-centered practices," said Lt. Col. Jennifer Glidewell, chief, Department of Primary Care and Community Medicine, IACH. "The primary care staff and leadership are dedicated to making the health care experience centered on your health care needs, accessible and easy to understand."
The NCQA measures the ability of medical facilities to provide quality health care through standardized, objective measurement guidelines. NCQA requires recognized facilities to enhance access to care and patients' continuity with their provider teams; keep track of patient data to help manage patients' well being; plan and manage care using evidence-based practices; provide self-care support and community resources, as well as track and coordinate tests, referrals and other care for patients.
Additionally, clinics have to show they measure their performance and patients' feedback to continue improving the quality of care.
Here's what patients can expect from their medical home:
• A personal provider. Each patient has an ongoing relationship with a personal physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner who is trained to provide first contact, continuous and comprehensive care.
• Physician directed medical practice. The personal physician leads a team or teams of individuals at the practice level, who collectively take responsibility for ongoing patient care.
• Whole person orientation. The personal provider is responsible for providing all of the patient's health care needs or for arranging care with other qualified professionals.
• Coordinated and integrated care. Each patient's care is coordinated and integrated across all elements of the health care system and the patient's community.
• Quality and safety focus. All members of the health care team are focused on ensuring high quality care in the medical home.
• Improved access. In the PCMH, enhanced access to care options are available through open scheduling, same day appointments, secure messaging and other innovative options for communication between patients, their personal physician and practice staff.
Army Medicine's goal is to have all of its primary care facilities in the continental U.S. and overseas achieve NCQA recognition and transform to the PCMH model of care no later than Oct. 1, 2014. The transition to the PCMH model of care is part of Army Medicine's overall shift from a health care system to a system for health.