Crete is first rural clinic to earn Medical Home Recognition
Crete Area Medical Center Physicians' Clinic is the first rural health clinic in Nebraska to earn Physician Practice Connections-Patient Centered Medical Home (PPC-PCMH) Recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
The NCQA is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare quality.
CAMC Chief of Medical Staff Russell Ebke, MD, notes, "In a patient-centered medical home practice, a physician-led team oversees each patient's care. This team coordinates the patient's treatment and assures all healthcare needs are addressed, from preventative to acute care."
Consider the hypothetical 50-year-old patient who seeks medical attention under the current health care norm. The patient is a smoker, carrying a few extra pounds, with blood sugar levels slightly beyond normal. Because the current standard of healthcare is more reactive than preventative, that patient might go home, having been treated for only the most immediate health concern. In a few years, he may have diabetes and health conditions accompanying smoking and obesity.
Take the same patient seeking treatment at CAMC as a patient-centered medical home facility. On that initial visit, the patient learns he is on the path to diabetes or obesity and receives medical education - tips on managing weight, blood sugar and smoking cessation. His doctor schedules appointments with CAMC's diabetes education program and a dietician. There are follow up calls and/or visits.
"In a few years, that same person does not have diabetes. They are active, still working," said Ebke.
The patient-centered medical home is a promising model of healthcare delivery that aims to improve the quality and efficiency of care.
PPC-PCMH identifies practices that promote partnerships between individual patients and their personal clinicians. Instead of treating patient care as the sum of several episodic office visits, clinician-lead care teams coordinate treatments across the healthcare system. Medical home clinicians demonstrate the benchmarks of patient-centered care, including open scheduling, expanding hours and appropriate use of proven health information systems.
"The patient-centered medical home promises to improve health and health care," says NCQA President Margaret O'Kane. "The active, ongoing relationship between a physician and a clinician in a medical home fosters an all-too-rare goal in care: staying healthy and preventing illness in the first place.
"PPC-PCMH Recognition shows that Crete Area Medical Center Physicians' Clinic has the tools, systems and resources to provide their patients with the right care at the right time."