Thursday, January 26, 2012
UHS accredited in patient-centered care
UHS primary care offices recently received
accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)
based in Washington, D.C. The accreditation, called Patient-Centered
Medical Home, acknowledges that UHS meets national standards for patient
access to primary care providers, while providing continuity of care
and enhanced patient education.
“The accreditation is called
Medical Home because every patient should have a primary care provider
whose office is the home base for their health care needs,” said Frank
Floyd, M.D., Associate Medical Director of the UHS Medical Group.
“That’s what they find at the UHS sites. We are not just a medical
office. We are partners in healthcare with our patients. We are their
home base and, in most cases, we can get them in for an appointment the
same day they call.”
As part of the accreditation process, the NCQA
reviewed extensive data from the individual primary care sites. They
focused on how well the providers organized care plans around the needs
of the patients and scrutinized the level of teamwork among the
providers, patients, their families and any specialists.
UHS Electronic Health Record (EHR) system played a key role in earning
the accreditation. The system utilizes templates to track the status of
annual visits and alert providers about the need to schedule a
patient’s immunizations and medical tests, such as a colonoscopy. When
a patient receives care from a specialist, the information about that
visit becomes part of the health record so that the primary care
provider stays up-to-date. UHS also offers an interactive website and
uses electronic prescribing with built-in computerized cross checks to
keep track of patient allergies and drug interactions.
“The use of
information technology helps improve the level of care we provide,” Dr.
Floyd said. “It even allows us to make outreach phone calls to remind a
patient if they are past-due for a visit. It is extremely helpful for
patients with chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure,
congestive heart failure or diabetes. We make sure to provide them with
the educational information they need and we work to get them involved
in their own care management.”
As part of the Medical Home
project, UHS has also instituted enhanced case management. This
includes proactive calls from the medical offices to ensure the
timeliness of primary care follow-up after ER visits and
The UHS primary care sites which received the
accreditation include offices in Binghamton, Johnson City, Deposit,
Endwell, Endicott, Greene, Windsor, Newark Valley, Candor and Owego.
Additional UHS sites are expected to receive the accreditation from NCQA
later this year.