PacMed Again Recognized as Patient Centered Medical Home
In February 2013, Pacific Medical Centers received the Patient Centered Medical Home™ (PCMH) recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for its efforts to provide patients with a personalized and highly coordinated healthcare experience in a home-like environment. PacMed was first recognized in 2010 and is reevaluated every three years. PacMed is proud to continue to be recognized for its commitment to patient care and coordination.
“The NCQA’s PCMH recognition is another example of our developing a long-term personal relationship with each patient while providing high-quality medical care,” said Harvey Smith, CEO, of Pacific Medical Centers. “Our physicians are working together to provide a true ‘medical home’ experience by engaging with our patients. We take the time to listen and respond to their concerns, work with them to design the most appropriate course of treatment, provide timely answers and check in regularly with them to ensure they don’t slip through the cracks.”
The Patient Centered Medical Home concept is driven by a patient-focused philosophy and has the chief goal of improving primary care. It does this by fostering partnerships between physicians, their patients and, if appropriate, patients’ families. In a PCMH, the primary care provider coordinates care with other providers. Strong channels of communication ensure care is provided in culturally and linguistically appropriate ways. Technology helps manage care. In all, patients experience a non-threatening environment that empowers them to participate and receive care from providers who are sensitive to their needs. “By offering this program to our patients, we’re able to make sure that none of them are wasting time and resources on duplicative tests, rushing from one clinic to another, refilling the same forms or waiting around for results,” added Smith. “Here, patients are at the very center of their care, which helps maintain peace of mind and build greater trust with their doctors.”
PacMed has developed a truly robust, systematic way to maintain personalized and consistent communication with patients on matters involving diagnostic testing, monitoring and disease treatment. Each of these systems is designed to include every PacMed patient and can be especially beneficial to those suffering from or at risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and asthma.
To receive this recognition, PacMed must meet six standards, 27 elements and 149 factors that encompass areas such as enhancing patient access and continuity of care, planning and managing care, and measuring and improving performance. An example of how PacMed met the program’s case management requirement is its Diabetes Case Management Program, which is designed to help diabetic patients stay on track with their treatment plan. Through this program, patients are matched with a specific nurse who helps develop a personalized plan based on individual goals such as following a regular exercise program, consistently checking blood sugar levels and taking medications correctly. PacMed’s commitment to providing its patients with access to care is demonstrated through its extended clinic hours, same-day primary care appointments and Saturday appointments at its Renton and Canyon Park clinics. In addition, PacMed specialists practice at each of its nine clinics, enabling patients to see multiple physicians during one visit, saving them time and ensuring quality care for each patient in a shorter amount of time.
Every eligible primary care medical practitioner—63 physicians in total, across nine PacMed primary care clinics—received the PCMH recognition.