How Are practices Streamlining Care and Improving Quality?
At its best, a patient-centered medical home offers an array of benefits—improved safety, more efficient use of resources and opportunities to participate in payment incentives.
But that’s only at its best.
In reality, there are barriers to realizing the benefits. Successfully building a PCMH practice requires significant investments in time, financial resources and training, as well as a willingness by your entire team to drastically transform your practice.
It can be difficult to implement the necessary changes to processes, workflows, scheduling and staff structure, especially in large-scale practices. But once you and your medical team have fully embraced quality over quantity, you can begin to streamline care and enhance the effectiveness of the services you provide—and realize all the benefits.
Here’s a look at how you can streamline care while improving the quality patients receive through your large-scale PCMH.
Create a quality improvement strategy
Once you have built a patient-centered medical home, you will want to do everything you can to move your practice toward a culture of continuous improvement. Doing so is critical to your ability to meet the PCMH performance metrics, that allow your practice to maintain its designation and keep recognizing the benefits.
Creating a quality improvement strategy gives you the opportunity to manage changes to processes, workflows, scheduling systems, implementation of electronic medical records and your care team structure. It is a road map to success that keeps your entire team on the same path—and helps you measure progress toward your goals.
To create a quality improvement strategy, ask these three questions:
- What do you need to accomplish?
- How will you measure progress toward your goals?
- What changes do you need to make to reach your goals?
Knowing with precision what steps to take to best allocate limited resources to reach your goals helps improve your practice’s efficiency. You can find tools for creating a PCMH quality improvement plan on the United States Department of Health and Human Services website.
Create strategic partnerships
Many practices that have successfully built patient-centered medical homes have improved the quality of the care they offer through strategic partnerships.
There are five key functions and attributes of the medical home, according to the Department of Health and Human Services:
- Comprehensive care;
- Patient-centered care;
- Coordinated care;
- Accessible services; and
- Quality and safety.
Many practices find that partnering with third-party care providers can help them achieve these five goals. For example, a practice might bring in a third party, such as Diagnostic Partners, to offer on-site cardiovascular imaging services.
Patients appreciate on-site access to services and the coordination of care between primary care physicians and the cardiovascular specialists. Practices benefit from on-site, high-quality care, which aids in cost containment. Sending patients to an outside specialist or hospital can result in unnecessarily high costs for care that is of the same—or lesser—quality. When practices partner with third parties, the practices control the costs.
And that is how a PCMH is supposed to deliver its benefits.
See what satisfied clients have to say about Diagnostic Partners
“I was concerned about a report I received and with one phone call I was able to speak to the reading doctor. He was really helpful!”
Shishir Khetan, MD
Rockville Internal Medicine Group