Can our medical practice be improved? We think so. In our latest step forward, FMA is proud to have become a certified Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) with a dedicated team approach to continuously improving health care driven by our patient’s needs.
FMA has achieved level III recognition, the highest PCMH level awarded by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. This program implements a set of new approaches for providing family health care. We are supported in this project by the Northeast Physician Hospital Organization and by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.
A PCMH is a practice that has proven its commitment to examining and improving the way it provides care, in a number of dimensions that are specified by the National Center for Quality Assurance. We believe that our patients will benefit directly and immediately from the main components of the PCMH:
- Continuous quality improvement: the PCMH provides a mechanism for our providers and staff to set goals about how we want to improve, and then to work out the details to reach those goals. We have established a continuous quality improvement (CQI) team that meets every other week. Membership includes FMA staff, a patient representative, and experienced advisors. As well as improving general care, we are focusing on issues such as improving care for diabetics, improving immunization rates, helping the uninsured, and more.
- Pro-active outreach and care planning for patients who fit into certain critical health care categories: We are currently focusing on four areas: diabetics, well children ages 5–6, smokers, and patients age 90 and above. We have developed plans to help us reach our goals for improving care for these patients. In the future, we will focus on other areas of health care.
- A team approach to patient care: The best care is provided through a team approach. We are working to better define patient care roles for all members of our staff, who will increasingly work together as a team to care for you.
- Coordination of care provided by others in the medical community: We are using new ways of tracking and monitoring referrals to other providers and facilities, to make sure that you get the care you need, without duplication of services.
- Improving access to our practice: We are working to improve our availability in person, by phone, or (within the next year) by e-mail.
- Encouraging self-management of medical conditions: Through education, joint goal setting, and smart use of community resources, our patients will have the resources they need to confidently manage their health care.Our goal in becoming a PCMH is to improve your health and to improve the care that we provide to you. Our recognition by NCQA as a PCMH will not be the end of our work; rather, it will be part of our commitment to continuing evaluation and improvement in our practice.Please let us know if you are aware of ways that we can improve our service to you. We are glad to have your help and support as we transform into a Patient Centered Medical Home.The PCMH concept originated with the American Academy of Family Physicians; the principles were agreed to by the national organizations of internists and pediatricians as well as family physicians in 2007; and the recognition program was developed in 2008 by the NCQA (National Center for Quality Assurance.)